Banks help to boost index past 2,100 points

Shares extended gains for the third straight session yesterday as banking stocks regained momentum on hopes the sector will post improved third-quarter results, traders said. The benchmark general share index added 1.94 percent to end at 2,130.54 points, outperforming the major European bourses, which gave up some of Friday’s gains. Volume rose to 157.26 million euros. «The rise in trading volume shows institutional investors injecting fresh money into the market today, building on Friday’s gains,» said trader Andreas Alexiou at Beta Securities. Banks surged 3.47 percent as investors bet on a recovery in third-quarter earnings, due to be released by the end of the month. «Investors expect good to very good third-quarter results from the five major banks,» said analyst Manos Giakoumis at P&K Securities. Buying interest also spread to telecom stocks, with index heavyweight OTE adding 3.27 percent to 10.10 euros and its mobile subsidiary CosmOTE rising 1.38 percent to 10.30 euros, both above their 20-day moving averages. Vodafone-Panafon, however, retreated 1.32 percent to 6.0 euros. Advancers beat decliners 308 to 33, with 20 unchanged against 361 traded. (Reuters)