Buying in banks helps bourse post gains

Bank stocks blessed the local bourse with its first day of gains in 2012 on Wednesday as their sectoral index posted healthy growth of 5.45 percent while turnover was the highest seen in the last 16 sessions.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended the day at 629.08 points, expanding by 0.60 percent from Tuesday?s closing figure of 625.35 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 1.33 percent to close at 240.82 points.

Marfin Popular Bank led the way among blue chips with gains of 11.79 percent, with Bank of Cyprus a distant second (up 5.32 percent). Coca-Cola HBC declined by 2.16 percent.

In total, 79 stocks registered gains, 68 posted losses and 18 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 33.7 million euros, up from Tuesday?s 29.4 million.

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