ASE follows Europe, climbs over 1,800

Equities climbed above 1,800 points yesterday as blue chips rallied on the back of a strong performance in European markets, with banks rising more than 5 percent. «Gains in European markets first rubbed off onto banks, and this buying spilled over to the rest of the market,» said Yiannis Markakis, fund manager at P&K Asset Management. The Athens benchmark general index added 4.10 percent to 1,807.09 points. The market ended the week up 14.64 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index advanced 5 percent to 903.59 points, with telecoms adding 4.91 percent. Mid-caps rose 3.75 percent, while small-caps added 3.66 percent. «Investors who borrowed shares in the last few sessions to short them were covering positions,» said analyst Takis Zamanis at Beta Securities, referring to a short squeeze. Turnover was 98 million euros on 28.6 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 339 to 14 while 13 shares were unchanged on 366 traded. (Reuters)