ECONOMY

Index above 2,000 points, sets year high

Banks led stocks higher yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, pushing the general index beyond the 2,000-point mark for the first time since last September. The Athens bourse took advantage of the buoyant mood in other European bourses, itself due to news of acquisition of French aluminum producer Pechiney by Canada’s Alcan and the rise of the dollar versus the euro. The general index rose 3.54 percent to close at 2,015.66 points. All sectoral indices rose, with publishing and printing (11.25 percent) and insurance (7.86 percent) showing the biggest gains. Banks, index heavyweights all of them, rose 4.91 percent. Emporiki and Alpha rose 6.45 percent and 6.38 percent, respectively. EFG Eurobank gained 5.31 percent and National Bank actually underperformed, rising 3.49 percent. Turnover increased to 199.4 million euros from 116.8 million on Friday. Out of 366 shares traded, 335 gained, 15 lost and 16 showed no change.