ECONOMY

Stocks stop their slide; banks outperform

Shares surged higher yesterday as buying interest returned to banking stocks with bellwether National Bank, the biggest blue chip advancer, leading the rally. «Today’s rally was an overdue technical rebound after recent losses. The question is how long this will last,» said trader Andreas Alexiou at Beta Securities. The benchmark general share index rose 1.79 percent to 2,062.38 points. Banks advanced 3.24 percent. National Bank gained 4.67 percent to 17.94 euros and Commercial Bank added 4.45 percent to 16.90 euros. Heavyweight OTE Telecom rose 1.87 percent to 9.80 euros. Companies dropped from the FTSE Euromid index continued to slide. Intracom fell 3.09 percent to 6.28 euros, Motor Oil lost 1.43 percent to 6.88 euros and Hellenic Technodomiki fell 2.73 percent to 4.28 euros. Turnover rose to 170.69 million euros, with 42.2 million shares changing hands. Winners led losers 272 to 63, with 29 unchanged against 364 traded. (Reuters)