ECONOMY

Post-holiday cheer brings significant gains

After a four-day recess due to Easter, the Greek bourse returned with strong gains, bucking the international trend that saw most markets lose ground yesterday. Driven by blue chips, the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 4,121.96 points yesterday from 4,061.24 on Thursday, a significant rise of 1.50 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 1.99 percent, reaching 2,164.30 points. The mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index expanded by 1.30 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index moved up by 0.24 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International gained 1.86 percent to 5,731.76 points. Outperforming among blue chips were the stocks of Hellenic Petroleum (up 6.85 percent), Intralot (6.33 percent), Marfin Investment Group (6.18 percent), Mytilineos (4.44 percent) and Bank of Cyprus (3.81 percent). Hellenic Post Bank (down 1.12 percent) and OTE (0.53 percent) were the worst off. Almost all sectoral indices headed northward, led by oil and gas (up 4.60 percent), financial services (4.51 percent) and health (2.43 percent). Commerce declined by 0.58 percent, while telecommunications shrank by 0.53 percent. Turnover amounted to 386.5 million euros, of which 40.4 million euros were related to block trades.