ECONOMY

National Bank props up index as small-caps slide

Greek stocks slowed their ascent yesterday, with a buoyant National Bank accounting for almost a third of turnover. Small-caps came under selling pressure for profit-taking after four straight winning sessions. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) benchmark index edged 0.10 percent higher, to 3,919.75 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index was 0.27 percent higher and mid-caps ended unchanged. Small-caps shed 1.47 percent. The picture was mixed for sectoral indices, where chemicals led with gains of 1.14 percent. Health shed 1.96, while banks added 0.36 percent. Among blue chips, apart from National Bank which added 1.80 percent, Intracom advanced 2.40 percent, ATEbank piled 1.45 percent on top of steep gains on Wednesday, and Titan gained 1.22 percent. In contrast, Cosmote tumbled 1.71 percent and Hellenic Petroleum shed 1.69 percent. For a second straight session, decliners outnumbered winners by almost two to one. The winning pack was led by Crete Plastics, DIEKAT, EVIK, AS Company and Neorion. Turnover totaled 236.86 million euros, of which 74.14 million was accounted for by National Bank, 17.03 by ATEbank and 13.90 million by Alpha Bank.