ECONOMY

Index holds its own despite profit-taking

Helped by a positive mood elsewhere in Europe, Greek stocks continued their advance yesterday, despite blue chips coming under profit-taking pressures in the latter part of the session. Mid-caps and small-caps continued attracting stronger interest. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.11 percent higher at 5,140.32 points, after rising as high as 5,175. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index nudged 0.02 percent up to 2,706.34 points, while the mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 0.77 percent and 0.55 percent respectively. The FTSE/ATHEX International was up 0.15 percent. Cellular operator Cosmote led blue chips with gains of 2 percent, Piraeus Bank added 1.28 percent and Alpha Bank rose 0.78 percent on renewed rumors of a business deal. Banks Marfin Popular, Emporiki, National, Eurobank and Cyprus, and refiners Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil, Viohalco and Hellenic Technodomiki also headed north. By contrast, OTE telecom slumped 2.81 percent, Public Power Corporation dropped 1.79 percent and Intralot shed 1.12 percent. OPAP, Titan, ATEbank and Coca-Cola HBC followed south. Postal Savings Bank remained unchanged. Turnover rose to -513.55 million, of which -87.27 million was in block trades.