ECONOMY

Banks help index close in on 1,700 points

Banks bounced yesterday, buoyed by a more upbeat outlook, driving equities higher. The bourse’s banking index gained 3.15 percent, outpacing the broader market’s 1.64 percent gain. «Banks led the index higher, tracking European indices. Investors were influenced by upbeat reports on the Greek banks. We got the technical bounce we’ve been waiting for,» said trader Nikos Diamantopoulos at Kappa Securities. The general index gained 27.37 points to close at 1,697.06 points. Blue chips advanced 2.1 percent, with only bottler Coca-Cola HBC and mobile operator Vodafone Panafon bucking the trend. Mid-caps gained 1.25 percent, while small-caps jumped 2.98 percent. Turnover improved to 88.86 million euros from 70.42 million a day earlier, with 32.9 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 305 to 32, with 18 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)