Mid- and small-caps lead index above 4,100

Stocks gained ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), closing over 4,100 points after nine sessions. Rumors of new deals boosted many medium- and small-capitalization firms. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,104.50 points, a gain of 57.02 points or 1.41 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 1.51 percent to close at 2,259.72 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 2.05 percent and 2.52 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 1.60 percent, closing at 5,736.04 points. Among blue chips, the biggest gainers were metals group Viohalco (up 6.04 percent to 8.78 euros), Piraeus Bank (3.67 percent to 25.40 euros), technology holding company Intracom (3.58 percent to 5.78 euros), refiner Hellenic Petroleum (3.56 percent to 11.64 euros), electronics retailer Germanos (3.15 percent to 17.68 euros), Emporiki Bank (2.96 percent to 27.82 euros), electricity company PPC (2.72 percent to 19.66 euros) and National Bank (2.14 percent to 40.10 euros). Telecoms firms OTE and Cosmote dropped 1.01 percent and 0.74 percent respectively. Out of 322 traded shares, 238 gained, 42 declined and 42 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 316.93 million euros, including 15.99 million in prearranged trades.