Gloom recedes but thin trade reveals caution

Greek stocks rebounded in line with foreign bourses yesterday, led by the two heavyweights of the banking sector, National and Alpha, which absorbed selling pressures on gaming firm OPAP and banks EFG Eurobank and Piraeus. Nevertheless, the thin trade was indicative of the prevailing caution after last week’s heavy losses. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.92 percent higher at 4,677.73 points, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was up 1.02 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 gained 1.40 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index advanced 1.87 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International rose 1.09 percent. Construction company Hellenic Technodomiki led blue chip winners with a 3.17 percent rise, while Postal Savings Bank advanced 2.84 percent from the lows of several months, Alpha Bank climbed 2.64 percent, Bank of Cyprus was 2.59 percent higher, Motor Oil gained 2.47 percent and National Bank added 1.85 percent. Cosmote fluctuated considerably between -21.24 and -22.04 before settling at -21.84. In contrast, Piraeus Bank and OPAP ended 1.00 percent and 0.82 percent down respectively. Folli-Follie appeared to attract the interest of foreign institutionals and gained 5.63 percent to reach -28.50. Turnover came to -299.5 million, of which -19.6 million was in block trades. National Bank and OTE accounted for -80.5 million.