ECONOMY

Blue chips drive, lower caps enjoy the ride

Blue chips provided the main thrust behind yesterday’s continued climb by Greek stocks, but interest remained undiminished in the lower capitalizations. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index added 0.38 percent to close at 4,938.27 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was up 0.55 percent, closing at 2,652.01 points. The FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 gained 0.32 percent to 6,260.25 points, and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index ended 0.21 percent higher at 1,058.34 points. Intralot outperformed among blue chips, rising 2.56 percent after announcing Q1 results above expectations. OTE telecom advanced 1.76 percent, Folli-Follie gained 1.64 percent, Eurobank was up 1.59 percent, National Bank climbed 1.29 percent to a new historic high of 43.98 euros and Cosmote rose 1.28 percent. Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Technodomiki, Titan and Emporiki also headed north. By contrast, the Postal Savings Bank tumbled 4.46 percent, Public Power Corporation slumped 3.40 percent and ATEbank dropped 2.45 percent. Analysts take the view that if blue chips at least retain their recent gains and barring negative imported news, mid-caps and small-caps will continue to attract increasing interest. Turnover totaled -344.257 million, including -22.36 million in block trades.