ECONOMY

Bourse gains continue for fifth straight day

Greek stocks continued their ascent for the fifth consecutive session yesterday, with a strong showing toward the end of the session and many shares closing at the day’s highs. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was up 0.60 percent at 3,943.31 points, registering weekly gains of 3.31 percent. All capitalizations gained, with an edge by small-caps whose FTSE/ASE 80 index added 0.57 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 was up 0.38 percent and the FTSE/ASE Mid-Cap rose 0.44 percent. All but three of the sectoral indices headed north, with health outperforming 3.08 percent higher. Construction and materials gained 1.68 percent but banks edged 0.06 percent lower. Among blue chips, Titan was up 1.94 percent, Cosmote added 1.85 percent, Viohalco advanced 1.75 percent, Hellenic Petroleum gained 1.15 percent and OTE rose 1.11 percent. In contrast, banks Emporiki and National ended 1 percent and 0.61 percent lower. Turnover dropped to 196.69 million euros, of which 89.4 million was accounted for by the four most marketable shares, National Bank, OPAP, OTE and Alpha Bank. Both the general index and the blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 closed higher than the 30-day average and analysts are optimistic for next week for a rise in turnover.