ECONOMY

Banks and small-caps stay the driving forces

In a session very similar to the previous two, Greek stocks yesterday climbed to a new seven-year high, with selective interest in blue chips, especially banks, and a continuing revival of small-caps. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.37 percent higher at 4,868.25 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was 0.82 percent up at 2,614.51 points, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 nudged 0.17 percent lower to 6,131.86 points and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index ended 0.79 percent higher at a new six-year high of 1,017.97 points. Bank of Cyprus outperformed among blue chips, surging 5.94 percent to an all-time high of -13.20 amid positive reports. ATEbank advanced 3.06 percent, Coca-Cola HBC added 2.02 percent and Eurobank was 1.97 percent higher. OTE, Piraeus Bank (new all-time high), Viohalco, Titan, Motor Oil and Cosmote also headed north. In contrast, Intralot, Folli-Follie, banks Alpha, Emporiki and Postal Savings, and OPAP ended in negative territory. Public Power Corporation and National Bank were unchanged. Insurance led sectoral indices, gaining 2.42 percent. Banks were 1.05 percent up. Turnover totaled -379.08 million, including -52.15 million in prearranged block trades. Banks National and Cyprus accounted for -127.7 million.