OTE woes keep index from rising higher

Stocks ended marginally higher yesterday but failed to track stronger European bourses, with weakness in index heavyweight OTE Telecom offsetting firmer banks. «There was selling in blue chips and this kept the market at a distance from European bourses,» said Yiannis Markakis, fund manager at P&K Asset Management. OTE Telecom fell 0.87 percent to 11.42 euros as the lack of news on attempts to restructure its biggest foreign investment, Romtelecom, weighed on the stock. The Athens benchmark general index ended up 0.21 percent at 1,777.27 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index rose 0.23 percent to 882.53 points. Banks advanced 0.43 percent. Mid-caps gained 0.37 percent and small-caps 0.67 percent. Turnover was 51.58 million euros on 15.2 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 168 to 120 with 70 shares unchanged on 358 traded. (Reuters)