Hopes of a quick war bolster share prices

Stocks rose yesterday, recapturing the 1,500-point mark, as investors around Europe hurried back into equities on expectations that advances made by US-led forces in Iraq will mean a quick end to the conflict and the uncertainty about the war’s effect on the global economy. The Athens benchmark general index gained 2.22 percent to 1,507.39 points. Bellwether OTE, Greece’s largest telecoms company, gained 3.27 percent to 8.84 euros, sticking close to gains in European peers and pulling back from record lows reached on Monday. OTE has gained 5.17 percent in the past two sessions. Banks gained 1.55 percent, while blue chips jumped 2 percent. Mid-caps rose 3.43 percent, while small-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-80 index gained 4.4 percent. Turnover more than doubled from the previous day’s total of 44.83 million euros, coming to 101.07 million euros on 32.9 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 322 to 19, with 21 shares unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)