ECONOMY

Stocks end 7-session losing run

Greek stocks advanced 1.25 percent on selective blue chip buying yesterday, ending a seven-session losing streak. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 1,452.13 points, after climbing as high as 1,465 points in mid-session trade. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index advanced 1.48 percent to 684.76 points, led by a 2 percent rise in banks. Eurobank was among the big winners, adding 5.43 percent to 3.88 euros, while Alpha Bank gained 3.96 percent to 4.20 euros. Betting company OPAP rose 2.84 percent to 10.50 euros and OTE telecom ended at 6.28 euros, up 1.29 percent. Power company PPC fell 7.78 percent to 10.84 euros. The stock went ex-dividend yesterday, paying investors 1 euro per share on 2009 earnings. The amount translates into a dividend yield of 8.5 percent based on Wednesday’s closing price. Fourlis Holdings, the Greek franchise of home products retailer IKEA, dropped 1.38 percent to 7.15 euros. Earlier in the day, HSBC cut its target price on Fourlis to 8.30 euros from 10.30 euros, while keeping its overweight rating on the stock. Turnover reached 93.4 million euros versus 115 million in the previous session.