New year-high aided by surging National Bank

Stocks continued their gains yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), boosted by the positive mood in other European markets, to close at yet another new year-high. The ASE general index closed at 3,381.96 points, a gain of 33.87 points or 1.01 percent. Over the week, it gained 4.03 percent, boosting the year’s gains to 21.38 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.42 percent to close at 1,876.33 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.93 percent and 0.02 percent respectively. The session was dominated by National Bank after a number of investment banks raised its share target price to levels ranging from 34.50 to 42 euros. As a result, it surged 5.38 percent to close at 33.30 euros, a new year-high. Other stocks reaching year-highs were Internet service provider Forthnet (up 12.68 percent to 8 euros), ASE parent company Hellenic Exchanges (4.86 percent to 7.86 euros), Piraeus Bank (3.08 percent to 17.40 euros) and ATEBank (2.29 percent to 5.36 euros). Significant gains were also posted by Emporiki (up 2.43 percent to 24.44 euros), Intracom (2.19 percent to 5.76 euros) and Eurobank (1.97 percent to 25.82 euros). Of 340 traded stocks, 154 gained, 113 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 343.23 million euros, including 30.92 million in prearranged trades.