Eurobank and National lead blue chips higher

Blue chips, particularly banks, lifted Greek stocks higher yesterday, close to the 4,700- point barrier again. However, the mood ahead of the Easter holiday appeared rather guarded, as evidenced by the thinner turnover and the underperformance of small-caps. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed up 0.99 percent at 4,695.77 points. The FTSE/ASE 20 blue chip index gained 1.14 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 rose 1.01 percent, and the FTSE/ASE 80 small-cap index ended 0.46 percent higher. Eurobank and National Bank outperformed among blue chips, surging 4.00 percent and 3.74 percent. Public Power Corporation rebounded from recent serious losses with a 3.34 percent advance, Folli-Follie continued hefty gains with 2.72 percent, Titan cement likewise with 1.18 percent, and Piraeus Bank added 1.09 percent. Intralot, Hellenic Petroleum, Alpha Bank, Coca-Cola HBC, Hellenic Technodomiki and Motor Oil also headed north. By contrast, OPAP was down 2.86 percent, Postal Savings Bank was 1.85 percent leaner, Bank of Cyprus dropped 1.38 percent and ATEbank lost 1.05 percent. Viohalco ended unchanged. Utilities and banks led most of the 17 sectoral indices higher. Only three headed south: personal and household products, travel and entertainment, and telecoms. Turnover fell to 323.48 million euros, including 41.4 million in prearranged block trades.

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