Index nearing year-high on positive sentiment

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange as market sentiment was helped by a buoyant mood in Europe. Analysts believe the general index will soon return to year-high levels, that is, around 3,150 points. The ASE general index closed at 3,115.412 points, a gain of 16.80 points or 0.54 percent. During the session it had risen as high as 3,134.36 points, a 1.15 percent gain. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.46 percent to close at 1,755.05 points. Mid- and small-caps gained 1.46 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively. Agricultural and Emporiki banks stole the show, rising 9.99 percent and 4.14 percent, respectively. Other blue chips that registered gains were Piraeus Bank (1.80 percent to 15.84 euros), Alpha Bank (1.72 percent to 22.50 euros) and betting firm OPAP (1.69 percent to 24.06 euros). By contrast, losses were registered by telecommunications equipment firm Intracom (down 2.07 percent to 3.78 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.79 percent to 5.48 euros), electronics retailer and battery maker Germanos (1.01 percent to 27.32 euros) and National Bank (0.94 percent to 29.38 euros). Of the 333 traded stocks, 168 gained, 97 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 180.03 million euros, including 4.70 million in pre-arranged trades.

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