ECONOMY

Bank-led blue chips ignore foreign jitters

Greek blue chips, led by banks, bucked downbeat trends elsewhere in Europe yesterday, reversing early losses on expectations of more important business deals. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.44 percent higher at 5,067.77 points after initially dipping as low as 0.77 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index added 0.85 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 shed 0.73 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index was down 0.64 percent. The Public Power Corporation outperformed among blue chips, climbing 3.10 percent to the day’s high of -23.30. Piraeus Bank advanced 2.06 percent, the Postal Savings Bank gained 1.55 percent, Bank of Cyprus added 1.23 percent after first announcing first-half results, Hellenic Petroleum was 1.20 percent higher and bellwether National Bank rose 1.44 percent to a new historic high of -46.12. OPAP, OTE, Cosmote, Hellenic Technodomiki and banks Alpha, Emporiki and Eurobank also headed north. By contrast, Viohalco slumped 1.94 percent and Coca-Cola HBC was 1.47 percent leaner. Intralot, Motor Oil and Titan ended in negative territory. Turnover came to -495.59 million, of which -136.35 million corresponded to block trades. Analysts said if the prospect of more business deal remains intact, ATHEX may ignore jitters on foreign markets and continue to move higher.