Partial recovery, but prospects stay volatile

The Greek stock market yesterday recovered partly from the previous two sessions’ strong selling pressures, with small-caps outperforming. Most shares and sectoral indices headed north. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index gained 0.46 percent, to close at 4,073.39 points. The blue-chip FTSE/ASE 20 index added 0.40 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 added 0.30 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 advanced 1.24 percent. Among blue chips, Hellenic Petroleum surged 3.93 percent, Intracom gained 2.47 percent, National Bank 2.43 percent, Emporiki Bank 2.26 percent and the Public Power Corporation 1.64 percent, despite the announcement of a disappointing 54 percent drop in 2005 profits. In contrast, Coca-Cola HBC slid 1.59 percent, Viohalco lost 1.20 percent and Piraeus shed most of Tuesday’s gains (-1.10 percent), when it bucked the trend. Despite the partial recovery, most analysts take the view that there is no substantial change in short-term prospects and that volatility will continue. Turnover reached 367.29 million euros, with a block trade, representing 19.49 percent of Egnatia Bank, which went to Marfin accounting for more than 110 million euros.