Stocks rise on good news from the front

Stocks rallied yesterday, with investors jumping back into equities as US-led forces entered Baghdad and indicated the war may end soon, removing a key area of uncertainty over the global economy. Commercial Bank jumped 7.43 percent to 10.70 euros, leading a 4 percent advance by Greek banks after UBS Warburg upgraded the sector to «neutral» from «overweight.» The benchmark general index rose 2.48 percent to end at 1,579.30 points, scaling back from intrasession highs of 1,594.33 points. «We had calls saying ‘buy me anything’ this morning from retail investors,» said one broker at an Athens securities firm. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index rose 2.97 percent to 760.52 points. Mid-caps rose 2.2 percent to 168.31 points while small-caps gained 3.61 percent. Turnover improved to 103.71 million euros, with 39.1 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 325 to 20 with 21 shares unchanged on 366 traded. (Reuters)