ECONOMY

Coke HBC, telecoms and banks lead bulls’ return

The return of positive sentiment to foreign markets spread to the Greek bourse yesterday, with banks and telecoms leading blue chips in outperformance. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 1.21 percent higher at 4,836.76 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was up 1.28 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 gained 0.19 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index added 0.87 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International rose 1.12 percent. Coca-Cola HBC outperformed among blue chips, surging 4.23 percent, Cosmote followed closely with 4.03 percent, National Bank climbed 1.98 percent, Eurobank advanced 1.85 percent, Hellenic Petroleum was up 1.72 percent on better-than-expected H1 results and OTE telecom added 1.34 percent. Banks Piraeus, Marfin Popular, Alpha, ATE, Emporiki and Cyprus, Viohalco, Public Power Corporation, Hellenic Technodomiki and Titan all headed north. Gaming firm OPAP led decliners, including Intralot and the Postal Savings Bank (new year-low). Analysts said the return of tranquillity on foreign markets may keep ATHEX on a northbound course and noted that the lower capitalization segments of the market had run completely dry of any news on deals. Turnover came to -392.81 million, of which -87.53 million was in block trades.