ECONOMY

Fed move unleashes bulls with a vengeance

Bulls were back in force yesterday after Thursday’s meltdown in bourses worldwide following the decision of the US Federal Reserve to reduce its discount interest rate by 50 basis points from 6.25 percent to 5.75 percent. The announcement completely reversed the mood on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX), propelling the general index to close 3.43 percent higher at 4,678.23 points, after falling as much as 1 percent earlier in the session. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index surged 3.48 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 advanced 3.39 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index climbed 3.23 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International ended 3.46 percent higher. More than 50 shares gained more than 7 percent, including three blue chips: Public Power Corporation with 9.84 percent, Alpha Bank with 8.83 percent and OPAP with 7.02 percent. Titan regained 3.46 percent, Motor Oil climbed 3.40 percent, Piraeus Bank rose 3.04 percent and National Bank 3.03 percent. Cosmote was the only blue chip to end in negative territory, shedding 0.19 percent. Turnover shot up to -678.8 million, of which -48.4 million was in block trades. Banks attracted about -36 million in the last 15 minutes of trade. Analysts said a continuing rebound up to 4,800 points would be of a purely technical character.