Rising banks fail to pull index along

Speculation that Greece’s bank heavyweights will positively surprise with nine-month results lifted National and Commercial banks yesterday while the broader market slipped, finishing off 0.53 percent. Greece’s largest bank by assets, National, added 1.36 percent to 14.92 euros, while Commercial ended at 13.54 euros, up 1.96 percent. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 0.53 percent to 1,775.81 points, ending the week up 14.52 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index eased 0.57 percent to 884.04 points. Mid-caps gained 0.38 percent with small-caps up 0.56 percent. Soccer pools and lottery group OPAP rebounded after losing more than 6 percent on Thursday on an earnings downgrade from Schroder Salomon Smith Barney. OPAP rose 1.49 percent to 9.52 euros. Turnover was 72.60 million euros on 19.6 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 152 to 132 with 76 shares unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters)

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