Decline is arrested but outlook still uncertain

The Greek stock market nudged higher but trade was still thin yesterday, in the midst of a broadly declining trend among European bourses. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.24 higher at 4,689.11 points, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index was up 0.21 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 gained 0.72 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index advanced 1.35 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International rose 0.29 percent. Coca-Cola HBC led blue chips with a gain of 3.03 percent to -34.00 euros, Bank of Cyprus also advanced 3.03 percent to -12.26, Intralot climbed 2.39 percent to -24.88 and OTE was up 1.58 percent to -23.08. Turnover came to -319.38 million, of which -113.84 million was in block trades. Vivartia accounted for 90.26 million. Analysts said yesterday’s session showed that the market thirsts for business deals, as shown by Intracom’s announcement it will absorb Unibrain, which skyrocketed 19.5 percent, while Intracom climbed 4.9 percent. Nevertheless, others argued that worries about banks’ vulnerability to credit market turmoil and the US subprime mortgage crisis still linger. The European Central Bank injected -7.7 billion euros of cash overnight, in its fourth money market action since a credit squeeze gripped eurozone money markets to replace 47.67 billion euros of Monday’s one-day tender.