ECONOMY

Banks push index to nine-month high

Stocks regained the 1,900 mark to close at a new nine-month high yesterday, as investor belief that banks are coming out of a profit slump pushed the sector 3.6 percent higher. The Athens benchmark general index gained 1.67 percent to 1,928.19 points. The general index has sprinted ahead more than 100 points in five sessions. «There’s positive sentiment abroad, which is helping us and a good feeling about Greek banks. Other large caps like PPC, which had very good first-quarter results, continue to draw interest,» said head analyst Costas Theodorou at National Securities. Power utility PPC rose 1.74 percent to a new 52-week high of 15.16 euros. Blue chips grew 2.14 percent to 969.98 points, while mid-caps rose 0.68 percent and small-caps gained 2.5 percent. Turnover was 203.44 million euros, down from Wednesday’s 393.54 million euros with 52.9 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 268 to 61 with 34 shares unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)