ECONOMY

Market gets a boost from surging blue chips

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), in line with other European markets. The ASE compound share index closed at 4,177.04 points, a gain of 39.07 points or 0.94 percent. On a weekly basis, it gained 1.36 percent, bringing gains since the start of the year to 14.01 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips gained 1.40 percent to close at 2,306.07 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.56 percent and 0.71 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International gained 1.26 percent, closing at 6,009.99 points. Fifteen of 17 sectoral indices gained. The exceptions were media (-0.22 percent) and foods and beverages (-0.36 percent). Among blue chips, the biggest gainers were Bank of Cyprus (up 5.84 percent to 9.42 euros), mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (2.56 percent to 20 euros), Alpha Bank (2.29 percent to 23.22 euros), National Bank (1.68 percent to 36.26 euros) and Emporiki Bank (1.47 percent to 23.50 euros). Of 309 traded stocks, 177 gained, 74 declined and 58 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 302.91 million euros, including 24.84 million in prearranged trades. The most heavily traded companies, by number of shares, were Bank of Cyprus (2,279,697), Piraeus Bank (1,969,080), OTE (1,398,822) and Lannet (1,180,347).