ECONOMY

Index follows exuberant National Bank

A 6 percent advance by National Bank boosted the Athens bourse higher yesterday, leading the benchmark general index over 1,700 points for the first time in three months. National ended the week with gains of 14 percent, adding 6.05 percent yesterday to 13.32 euros, while the benchmark general index rose 1.73 percent to 1,720.75 points, a gain of 3.4 percent in three sessions. «National’s gains (yesterday) are probably because of the increased weighting it will have on the MSCI Greece Index and improved sentiment is rubbing off on other banks,» said analyst Dimitris Apistoulas at EFG Eurobank Securities. Blue chips on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 index gained 2.22 percent to 853.13 points. Mid-caps gained 1.84 percent while small-caps rose 2.07 percent. Turnover was 105.52 million euros with 29.7 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 268 to 51 with 43 shares ending unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)