Emporiki, National help market find its footing

Stocks gained slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), reversing course after five losing sessions during which the market dropped 1.87 percent. The uptick was mostly due to heavy buying of Emporiki and National Bank stocks, while there was selling of shares in medium- and small-capitalization firms. The ASE general index closed at 3,245.49 points, a gain of 7.74 points or 0.24 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.21 percent to close at 1,798.57 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.26 percent and 0.39 percent respectively. Emporiki Bank gained 3.85 percent to close at 23.76 euros, while National Bank gained 1.09 percent to close at 29.66 euros. Other blue chips with significant gains included Duty Free Shops (up 1.14 percent to 15.96 euros), OPAP (0.79 percent to 25.64 euros), CosmOTE (0.63 percent to 15.88 euros) and PPC (0.61 percent to 19.88 euros). Losses were sustained by Intracom (down 2.67 percent to 5.84 euros), Hellenic Technodomiki (2.36 percent to 4.14 euros), Titan (1.61 percent to 28.20 euros) and OTE (0.84 percent to 16.46 euros). Of 329 traded stocks, 98 gained, 152 declined and 79 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 193.66 million euros, including 32.50 million in prearranged trades.