ECONOMY

Lender stocks buoy main index higher

After several ups and downs over the course of the day, the main index of the Greek bourse ended on a high unseen in the last 21 months, with banks again accounting for most of the day’s turnover on Tuesday.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,073.47 points, adding 0.77 percent to Monday’s 1,065.22 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX-25 index climbed 0.94 percent to end at 367.98 points.

It appears that after having fallen out of favor for a few months, banks have returned to center stage at the local stock market, with a strong influence over the direction of other equities.

On Tuesday the banks index rose 1.14 percent, led by Eurobank’s gains of 21.05 percent. Piraeus added 9.23 percent and National grew 2.65 percent, while Alpha gave up 5.14 percent after Monday’s 28-percent increase.

Among other blue chips, Marfin Investment Group expanded by 14.24 percent, while Jumbo contracted by 2.74 percent after announcing it had lost 20 million euros during the Cypriot bank account haircut.

In total 84 stocks posted gains, 64 registered losses and 31 stayed unchanged.

Turnover remained above the 100-million-euro level, as it has done over the last few sessions, amounting to 108.4 million euros, against Monday’s 105.2 million.