Stocks close 1 pct higher on banks, ECB

The big gains chalked up by the stocks of banks Alpha and Piraeus as a result of their apparently successful efforts to avoid nationalization drove the Greek stock market higher in Thursday’s session, while the European Central Bank’s anouncement that it was reducing its benchmark rate appeared to consolidate the rise.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 983.64 points, adding 0.98 percent to Tuesday’s 974.09 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX-25 expanded by 1.48 percent to end at 327.10 points.

Alpha added 19.67 percent, Piraeus grew 10.38 percent and Eurobank rose 7.65 percent. Jumbo fell 1.40 percent.

In total 90 stocks posted gains, 40 registered losses and 22 stayed unchanged.

Turnover came to 74.6 million euros, down from Tuesday’s 197.7 million.