ECONOMY

Expectations of more deals fuel sentiment

Greek stocks closed near the day’s high after treading in negative territory in early trading yesterday, with a solid performance by the two largest banks, National and Alpha. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 5,085.94 points, posting a rise of 0.54 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was up 0.64 percent at 2,699.75 points, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 added 0.78 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index rose 0.40 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International index was 0.65 percent higher. Among blue chips, National Bank climbed 1.73 percent to a new historic high of -45.88, Alpha advanced 1.46 percent, Bank of Cyprus added 1.37 percent, Hellenic Technodomiki rose 1.13 percent and Hellenic Petroleum was 1.04 percent higher. Postal Savings Bank, Viohalco, Cosmote, Motor Oil, OPAP and OTE also headed north. By contrast, Public Power Corporation, Coca-Cola HBC, Intralot, Titan and banks ATE, Emporiki and Piraeus all shed less than 1 percent, while Eurobank and Marfin Popular Bank were unchanged. Turnover totaled -393.58 million, of which -85.99 million corresponded to block trades. Vivartia, the food group being targeted for full acquisition by Marfin Investment Group, accounted for -56.61 million. Analysts said expectations of more business seem to be maintaining the upbeat sentiment.