ASE follows Euro markets, at a distance

Equities closed higher yesterday, led by rebounding banks, but trailed a rally in European markets with gains in the Athens bourse’s benchmark index capped at 1.41 percent. «The Greek market is closely tuned to European stock markets, which were cheered by solid outlooks from technology companies,» said analyst Stavros Christodoulou at Guardian Trust Securities. Banks advanced 2.81 percent, led by strong gains in Piraeus Bank, up 4.45 percent. Banks are down 41.9 percent since the start of the year as weak capital market activities have squeezed earnings. The benchmark general index ended at 1,826.69 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index added 2.02 percent to 911.34 points, with mid-caps rising 1.38 percent and small-caps 0.95 percent. Turnover was 73.7 million euros on volume of 20.5 million shares. Gainers led losers 253 to 66 with 40 shares unchanged on 359 traded. (Reuters)