ECONOMY

Banks lead a strong recovery of blue chips

A rebound in stock markets abroad helped the Greek bourse recover some of Tuesday’s heavy losses yesterday, with investors’ interest centering on banks which outperformed among blue chips and sectoral indices. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index added 0.97 percent, closing at 3,753.21 points. The blue chip FTSE/Athens 20 index advanced 1.47 percent, the FTSE/Athex Mid 40 gained 0.84 percent but the FTSE/Athex Small Cap 80 shed 0.22 percent. Most sectoral indices headed north. Banks led with gains of 2.68 percent and was followed by insurance with 2.51 percent. Among blue chips, National Bank outpaced Tuesday’s losses by surging 6.39 percent forward, Piraeus Bank climbed 4.98 percent, and Emporiki Bank advanced 4.20 percent. Motor Oil added 2.52 percent, Coca-Cola HBC 1.98 percent, Titan cement 1.85 percent and OTE telecom 1.76 percent. In contrast, Duty Free Shops lost 3.77 percent, Hellenic Petroleum 3.18 percent, Intracom 2.63 percent, OPAP 2.21 percent and Alpha Bank 2.11 percent. Turnover surged to 512.52 million euros, of which 133.46 was accounted for by block trades and 227 million by the four most marketable shares, Delta Ice Cream, National Bank, OPAP and Motor Oil.