Moderate gains after the polls

Stocks surged on the local bourse in the aftermath of the first round of local elections, with Prime Minister George Papandreou ruling out early general polls, but failed to hold onto the big gains they had shown by midday. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,526.91 points yesterday, climbing 1.27 percent from last Friday’s close at 1,507.79 points. However, during the day it had posted gains of up to 2.96 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index rose 1.58 percent to end at 731.04 points. Sellers returned after 3 p.m., wiping out more than half the day’s gains for the main index. The biggest growth among blue chips was registered by the stocks of Ellaktor (up 4.82 percent), OTE telecom (4.26 percent), National Bank (3.51 percent) and Alpha Bank (3.10 percent). A total of 114 stocks headed north, 45 lost ground and 44 remained unchanged. Euroline led the gainers with a 19.61 percent rise, while Michaniki posted the biggest losses (down 25 percent). Turnover came to 101.2 million euros, down from last Friday’s 112 million. In the first half-hour of the session, there was a turnover rate of 1 million euros per minute, but that original enthusiasm soon subsided.