ECONOMY

Blue chips, small-caps lead strike on 4,900 pts

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index yesterday again reached 4,900 points after 12 sessions, spurred by blue chips and small-caps, particularly banks, technology and media stocks. Most other European bourses headed north, while Wall Street was closed. The general index closed 0.85 percent higher at 4,922.21 points, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 0.75 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 was up 0.73 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index climbed 1.21 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International index added 0.75 percent. Bellwether National Bank led blue chips, climbing 2.45 percent, Cosmote advanced 1.92 percent, Eurobank added 1.86 percent, OPAP was up 1.52 percent, Postal Savings Bank gained 1.26 percent and Hellenic Petroleum was 1.25 percent higher. Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Technodomiki, Titan, Coca-Cola HBC, Intralot, Viohalco and banks ATE, Marfin Popular, Alpha and Emporiki also headed north. By contrast, Bank of Cyprus slumped 1.73 percent, OTE was down 1.60 percent and Piraeus Bank was down 0.73 percent. Turnover totaled -495.26 million, of which -98.13 million was accounted for by block trades. Most brokers appear cautiously optimistic that the general index stands a good chance of breaking through the 5,000-point barrier.