ATHEX: Banks rally, offseting last month’s losses

TAGS: Stocks

The mostly positive second-quarter results released by banks Alpha and Piraeus on Tuesday evening sent Greek bank stocks soaring on Wednesday, ahead of the announcements of results from National and Eurobank. The banks index jumped 12.43 percent and trading volume reverted to normal levels on the last day of a month that ended with gains of 1.06 percent for the market’s benchmark.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 577.39 points, adding 2.31 percent to Tuesday’s 564.37 points. The large-cap FTSE 25 index expanded 3.30 percent to end at 1,550.05 points.

The banks index saved the best for last in August, as its rally on Wednesday offset all its losses last month to post a 0.05 percent increase on a monthly basis. Some people attribute this rally to the expectation of good news from Friday’s sovereign credit report by Fitch.

Eurobank advanced 17.32 percent, Piraeus gained 14.96 percent, National leapt 12.83 percent and Alpha climbed 9.55 percent. Among other blue chips GEK Terna rose 5 percent and Grivalia Properties declined 2.78 percent.

In total 67 stocks posted gains, 33 headed south and 13 closed unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 86 million euros, up from Tuesday’s 24.6 million.

In Nicosia the general index of the Cyprus Exchange rose 1.27 percent to close at 68.46 points.