Optimism sees stock index climb over 1,200 pts

After 14 sessions, the benchmark of the Greek bourse finally returned above the 1,200-point mark on a wave of optimism on Friday, while turnover hit a level unseen in the last two weeks.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 1,214.62 points, adding 3.27 percent to Thursday’s 1,176.13 points. The benchmark’s last four northbound sessions secured it weekly gains of 4.87 percent. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index expanded 3.32 percent to close at 390.81 points.

There were four main reasons behind Friday’s gains: Greece’s expected credit rating upgrade by Moody’s, the prime minister’s express belief that the government will be able to elect a new president and avert a snap election, optimism that the bank stress tests will show the credit system’s capital needs are fully manageable, and a Morgan Stanley report that discerned buying opportunities on the Athens bourse following the recent decline.

All blue chips secured gains, led by Eurobank (5.57 percent), Jumbo (5.18 percent) and Public Power Corporation (5.09 percent).

In total 99 stocks went up, 30 declined and 10 stayed put.

Turnover amounted to 153.8 million euros, up from Thursday’s 97.1 million.