Motor Oil partnership rumors fuel ASE gains

Stocks gained slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, thanks to investor interest in oil stocks, especially Motor Oil, due to rumors of a possible partnership with Russian giant Lukoil. The ASE composite share index closed at 3,953.35 points, a gain of 9.34 points or 0.24 percent. Throughout the session, the index fluctuated within a narrow band. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips gained 0.06 percent to close at 2,150.11 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.11 percent and 0.48 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 0.08 percent to close at 5,562.69 points. Motor Oil led blue chip gainers by rising 5 percent to close at 22.26 euros. Significant gains were also registered by refiner Hellenic Petroleum (up 1.95 percent to 10.48 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.87 percent to 24 euros), mobile telecommunications company Cosmote (1.50 percent to 18.98 euros) and jewelry and accessories maker and retailer Folli Follie (1.40 percent to 21.74 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by National Bank of Greece (down 1.43 percent to 33.02 euros) and cement maker Titan (1.23 percent to 38.42 euros). Of 316 traded shares, 125 gained, 118 declined and 63 ended unchanged. Turnover reached $245.73 million, including 17.74 million in prearranged trades.