Blue chips lead market to new seven-year high

Greek stocks climbed to a new seven-year high yesterday, on an ample infusion of confidence from foreign bourses and a strong performance by blue chips, particularly banks. Gains were less pronounced among mid-caps, while small-caps actually recorded losses. The Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed up 1.20 percent at 4,865.97 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 1.39 percent to close at 2,609.24 points, while the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 rose 1.07 percent, and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index ended 0.79 percent lower. Alpha Bank outperformed other blue chips, advancing 3.04 percent, while Coca-Cola HBC added 2.52 percent, Bank of Cyprus ended 2.24 percent higher, National Bank rose 2.11 percent, OPAP gained 2.02 percent and Emporiki Bank closed up 1.90 percent. ATEbank, Hellenic Petroleum, Intralot, Cosmote and Piraeus Bank also headed north, while Public Power Corporation gained on news of the construction of a new power plant in Aliveri, Evia. By contrast, Hellenic Technodomiki, OTE, Titan and Folli-Follie ended up in negative territory. Turnover totaled -464.8 million, including -31.2 million in prearranged block trades. Analysts said a considerable portion of investors are already in overbought stocks, but this does not rule out a continuation of gains if the mood in foreign markets stays upbeat.

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