Banks and PPC lead blue chip rebound

Greek stocks rebounded strongly after four declining sessions yesterday, pulled by a number of buoyant blue chips and amid a positive mood in European markets. The trend spread to the lower capitalizations, especially mid-caps. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was 1.14 percent higher at 3,937.37 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index added 1.26 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 advanced 1.88 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 gained 0.58 percent. Improved expectations from declining oil prices bolstered the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which outperformed among blue chips by surging 4.48 percent. On the flip side, Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil headed south. There was strong interest in Piraeus Bank after mid-session, leading to gains of 2.96 percent, Viohalco ascended 2.72 percent, Titan added 2.22 percent and National Bank was 1.80 percent higher. Banks Alpha, ATE and Emporiki were perky, while Intracom, Cosmote, Eurobank, Germanos, OPAP, OTE and Folli-Follie also ended in positive territory. In contrast, Coca-Cola HBC and Hyatt headed south. Utilities led sectoral indices on account of PPC, gaining 3.87 percent. Insurance was up 2.83 percent. Turnover topped 298.34 million euros.