Stocks surge on hopes of swift end to war

Stocks ended the week higher yesterday, jumping into a surge on European bourses as investors hoped reports of Iraqi troop surrenders meant the war in Iraq would be short. Telecoms equipment maker Intracom raced ahead after news it was planning to soon sell its stake in mobile operator Vodafone Panafon. Intracom gained 7.76 percent to 4.72 euros, its highest close in a year. The Athens benchmark general index gained 1.52 percent to 1,541.12 points, rising 23 points and moving away from fresh five-year lows hit on Monday. Telecom stocks rose 0.35 percent while banks jumped 3.34 percent. Blue chips gained 2.05 percent to 738.60 points while mid-caps rose 1.89 percent to 164.69 points. Small-caps gained 1.47 percent. Turnover rose to 84.11 million euros, from Thursday’s 70.3 million euros, on 28.6 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 248 to 62, with 52 shares unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)