Index recaptures 4,000 pts as optimism returns

Edged by Eurobank, which closed at the day’s high yesterday, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ultimately managed to hold on to the barrier, finishing up 0.60 percent at 4,002.27 points. European markets were also up. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index gained 0.72 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 added 1.22 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 closed up 0.56 percent. Most sectoral indices ended in positive territory, led by utilities (up 1.43 percent) and health (1.38 percent). Banks added 1.24 percent. Only commerce, travel & leisure and technology headed south. Eurobank led blue chip winners with a gain of 2.25 percent and Bank of Cyprus advanced 2.19 percent. Public Power Corporation, Piraeus Bank, Viohalco and Motor Oil all saw gains of more than 1 percent. Banks ATE, Emporiki and National, Coca-Cola HBC, Hellenic Petroleum, OTE (involved in rumors of planning to sell Armentel to Etisalat), Titan and Folli-Follie also headed north. Blue chip decliners were led by Duty Free Shops, which slumped 2.42 percent. Germanos, Intracom, Cosmote and OPAP were also lower. Among the smaller banks, Marfin was up 3.78 percent. Turnover totaled 289.3 million euros.