ECONOMY

Athens bourse index leaps on big bank gains

The third straight day of Greek stock market gains brought the benchmark close to the 1,000-point mark on Tuesday, as investors are pricing in expectations for a very positive result to the European Central Bank’s stress tests on local banks, which are to be announced this Sunday. The increased turnover points to an extensive move to cancel out last week’s major losses.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 995.10 points, adding 5.64 percent to Monday’s closing of 941.93 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index expanded 5.80 percent, ending at 324.65 points.

Banks outperformed, with their index soaring 6.77 percent, as statements from the sector pointed to a stress test outcome that will be more than just manageable for lenders, which explains why almost 60 percent of trading concerned bank stocks. Piraeus Bank added 11.40 percent and Eurobank grew 6.62 percent. Ellaktor jumped 8.47 percent.

In total 89 stocks posted gains, 40 suffered losses and 15 stayed put.

Turnover amounted to 152.1 million euros, up from Monday’s 88 million.