Auctions push index north before the close

Greek stocks edged onto positive ground on the strength of auctions a few minutes before the close of yesterday’s session, which was dominated by geopolitical jitters in common with markets across the world. The Athens Stock Exchange general index added just 0.07 percent, closing at 3,618.97 points. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 index stayed afloat (up 0.05 percent) but mid- and small caps headed south. Most sectoral indices were lower. Petroleum outperformed with gains of 2.03 percent and banks were down 0.52 percent. Among blue chips, Hellenic Petroleum surged 3.79 percent on news that an international consortium in which it participates discovered natural gas and oil deposits in Libya. Piraeus Bank advanced 1.95 percent, Cosmote added 1.27 percent and OPAP gained 1.13 percent. Germanos, Emporiki, Public Power Corporation and Coca-Cola also gained. Folli Follie was unchanged. In contrast, ATEbank, National Bank and Titan came under strong pressure; Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Viohalco, Hyatt, Intracom, Hellenic Technodomiki, Motor Oil and OTE also headed south. Turnover totaled 259.12 million euros, of which 81.87 million euros was prearranged block trades.