ECONOMY

ATHEX touches 4,900 points but slips back

Greek equities yesterday continued their ascent to the 4,900-point level, briefly attaining it for the first time since April 2000 but failing to hold it. Interest in small-caps remained strong. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.46 percent higher at 4,886.83 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 0.51 percent to close at 2,630.34 points. The FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 nudged up 0.06 percent to 6,135.28 points, and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index ended 0.61 percent higher at 1,026.51 points. Hellenic Petroleum led blue chips with gains of 1.94 percent, a day after announcing a -1 billion investment plan. Alpha Bank rebounded 1.62 percent higher, Motor Oil advanced 1.49 percent, Hellenic Technodomiki was up 1.39 percent and Eurobank gained 1.11 percent to reach a new historic high of -27.40. Banks Emporiki, National and Piraeus, along with OPAP, Titan, Intralot and Folli-Follie also ended in positive territory, while Public Power Corporation was unchanged. By contrast, ATEbank, Bank of Cyprus, Postal Savings Bank, Viohalco, OTE, Cosmote and Coca-Cola HBC headed south. The general picture was further improved, despite short-term profit-taking and a restructuring of portfolios. It appears that the market is currently being moved by forces hopeful of a continuation of the positive trend. Turnover totaled -374.74 million.