National, OPAP keep up blue chip momentum

Greek stocks edged higher yesterday, mainly lifted by interest in blue chips National Bank and gaming firm OPAP which commanded about one-third of the total turnover. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was 0.20 percent higher at 4,087.45 points, a five-month high. However, analysts said the final picture raised questions as to the strength of the upswing in the lower capitalizations, as decliners slightly outnumbered winners. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index added 0.43 percent. National Bank advanced 1.41 percent and OPAP gained 1.02 percent. Piraeus Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Petroleum, Intracom, Cosmote, Motor Oil and OTE also ended in positive territory, while Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Viohalco and Titan ended unchanged. In contrast, Public Power Corporation shed 1.78 percent, ATEbank was 1.00 percent lower, followed by lesser losses for Emporiki, Germanos, Coca-Cola HBC, Duty Free Shops and Folli-Follie. The mid- and small-cap indices edged 0.05 percent and 0.06 percent higher respectively. The star of the day was Byte Computer, which surged 14.08 percent after news of a joint venture with Google in Greece. Media led sectoral indices with gains of 1.27 percent, while turnover topped 310.89 million euros.