ECONOMY

Banks? last-minute surge fails to improve lackluster picture

Resurgent banks and a few other blue chips attracted renewed interest in the last 45 minutes of trade Thursday but failed to boost the overall lackluster picture.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index was 1.57 percent higher in thin trade, closing at 631.56 points, with the blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index adding 2.25 percent to 228.29 points.

Piraeus Bank outperformed, gaining 7.98 percent, while Marfin Investment Group and Alpha Bank added 6.25 percent and 5.60 percent respectively. Eurobank grew 4.76 percent and National Bank was up 4 percent. Gaming firm OPAP, which accounted for more than a fifth of total turnover, rose 0.95 percent.

OTE telecom continued its good recent run, rising 4.44 percent, and Public Power Corporation added 3.90 percent.

Turnover came to 15.7 million euros.