Banks lead rebound against trend abroad

Greek stocks, spearheaded by banks, bucked a negative climate among European markets yesterday. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index added 0.98 percent, closing at 3,668.49 points. Gains were across the board, with all but three of the sectoral indices heading north. Food and beverages and banks led with gains of 1.66 percent and 1.36 percent respectively. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index advanced 1.17 percent, with Eurobank and Alpha Bank outperforming, 2.27 percent and 2.20 percent higher respectively. Coca-Cola HBC and Folli Follie were also both up more than 2 percent. Bellwether National Bank ended 1.37 percent higher, Piraeus and ATEbank gained 1.17 and 1.10 percent respectively. Hyatt, Intracom, Hellenic Technodomiki, OTE, Emporiki, Viohalco, OPAP, Motor Oil and Titan also gained. Investors were rather more guarded with mid- and small-caps. The FTSE/ASE Mid-40 edged up 0.29 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 added 0.58 percent. Just 11 shares registered gains of more than 5 percent but 15 others shed between 6 and 16.67 percent. The index opened in negative territory but was soon northbound with the help of National Bank, OPAP and Postal Savings, which accounted for more than 50 percent of turnover outside prearranged block trades.