ASE continues ascent; utilities lead the pack

Bucking a corrective mood on other European bourses, Greek stocks continued gains across the board yesterday, largely spurred by strong performance by the Public Power Corporation (PPC). The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index added 0.68 percent to close at 4,231.43 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 gained 0.64 percent, the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 index rose 0.67 percent, while the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 added 0.52 percent. Among blue chips – apart from PPC which outperformed with gains of 4.38 percent to reach a year-high of 21.44 euros – Viohalco advanced 3.68 percent, Intracom climbed 3.42 percent, Alpha Bank added 2.02 percent, Emporiki Bank 1.78 percent, Motor Oil 1.26 percent, Piraeus Bank 1.24 percent and OTE telecom 1.1 percent. In contrast, Folli-Follie slid 2.05 percent, Coca-Cola HBC 1.68 percent and National Bank 1.25 percent. Only three of the 17 sectoral indices ended lower: insurance, commerce, and food and drink. Utility services, propelled by PPC, outperformed with gains of 3.78 percent. Winners were led by Tasoglou (11.76 percent), and laggards by Elviemek (-18.62 percent). Turnover declined to 322.6 million euros from 370 million on Tuesday. The most marketable securities were led by PPC, Lannet, Bank of Cyprus, OTE and OPAP.