Caution dissipates, NBG lifts market spirits

Bellwether National Bank (NBG) rebounded strongly in thick trade, leading the market higher yesterday after a number of reports forecast a more than 60 percent jump in first-half results in a week’s time. The continuing recovery was in line with markets around the world, despite lingering jitters about problems in credit markets. Media, industrial products and services, raw materials and technology stocks showed particular strength. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 1.52 percent higher at 4,753.64 points, after fluctuating by as much as 65 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index added 1.66 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 rose 2.17 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index gained 1.80 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International was 1.74 percent higher. Public Power Corporation (PPC), which surged 7.04 percent on Tuesday, was the only one of the 20 blue chips to head south, falling 0.73 percent. Viohalco outperformed with gains of 4.09 percent, Hellenic Technodomiki climbed 3.78 percent, Postal Savings Bank advanced 3.73 percent, National Bank ended 3.48 percent higher, Bank of Cyprus added 3.05 percent and Coca-Cola HBC gained 2.16 percent. Turnover rose to -422.37 million, with -134.37 million in block trades. Marfin Investment Group accounted for -112.89 million.