Index just a breath away from 3,500 pts

Greek stocks headed north for a second straight session yesterday, helped by positive sentiment elsewhere in Europe, with investors’ interest mostly focused on blue chips and mid-caps. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed 0.54 percent higher, at 3,499.77 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index gained 0.57 percent and the FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap 40 added 0.55 percent. The FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 edged 0.04 percent up. Among major banks, National was 1.30 percent higher at 34.24 euros, EFG Eurobank gained 1.03 percent, while Piraeus and Emporiki climbed 1.75 and 1.80 percent respectively. In contrast, Alpha and ATE headed south, shedding 0.24 and 1.25 percent respectively. Intracom ended 1.65 percent higher, Titan Cement 1.37 percent, Duty Free Shops 1.13 percent and the Public Power Corporation (PPC), in the aftermath of its president’s resignation Thursday, closed 0.67 percent up after climbing as much as 3 percent during the session. Turnover topped 216.48 million euros, of which 100.5 million was accounted for by the five most marketable stocks, OTE telecom, PPC, gaming firm OPAP and banks National and Eurobank.