ATHEX: Prospect of extension boosts stocks

Once again, the Greek bourse enjoyed a rally on short-lived optimism on Thursday. However, hopes were dashed by the International Monetary Fund soon after the end of trade. The prospect of a nine-month extension to the bailout program and the strong liquidity boost handed to Greek banks by the European Central Bank late on Wednesday sent bank chips and most other stocks soaring, but few believe the gains are sustainable.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) closed at 823.16 points, adding 8.16 percent to Wednesday’s 761.05 points. The large-cap FTSE/ATHEX 25 index expanded 8.91 percent to close at 247.83 points.

Banks added 17.51 percent, with Piraeus advancing 19.35 percent and Eurobank climbing 18.70 percent.

In total 97 stocks went up, 22 declined and nine stayed put.

Turnover rose to 93.1 million euros, from Wednesday’s 63.9 million.