Blue chips stay buoyant, gains across the board

A positive mood on European bourses yesterday maintained the buoyancy of Greek blue chips, spreading gains across the board with a 40 percent rise in turnover. The Athens Exchange general index closed up 1.00 percent at 4,783.69 points, about 20 points shy of the February year-high. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 1.02 percent to close at 2.558.11 points, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 rose 0.98 percent, while the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index added 1.25 percent. Metals group Viohalco was the blue chip outperformer for a second straight day, surging 5.22 percent. Hellenic Petroleum climbed 4.76 percent, Emporiki Bank ascended 3.56 percent, Postal Savings Bank added 3.25 percent, Alpha Bank gained 2.19 percent and Motor Oil ended up 1.92 percent. Cosmote and Eurobank also rose. By contrast, gaming industry firms OPAP and Intralot were 1.42 percent and 0.97 percent leaner respectively. Petroleum led sectoral indices with gains of 3.57 percent. Banks were up 1.21 percent. Turnover totaled 482.24 million euros, of which about a fifth was accounted for by National Bank. Prearranged block trades came to -64.79 million. Analysts said the large part of turnover represented by banks increased the likelihood of a small-scale correction for profit-taking, largely depending on the mood on Wall Street.

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