ECONOMY

ATHEX: Benchmark finally clears 500-point bar

athex-benchmark-finally-clears-500-point-bar

Like a high-jumper who has tried time and again to clear the bar that kept him from his goal, who then makes a big final effort and succeeds, the benchmark of the Greek stock market needed daily gains of almost 5 percent on Friday to rise above the psychologically important 500-point mark. It required a great sense of hope on global markets regarding measures that finance ministers of the world’s 20 wealthiest countries mean to take to boost growth.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 507.12 points, adding 4.78 percent to Thursday’s 483.98 points. On a weekly basis it secured 5.53 percent.

The large-cap FTSE 25 index on Friday expanded 5.62 percent to end at 136.36 points.

The additional incentive of a possible rating upgrade for the Greek economy and its banks drove lenders’ stocks much higher, as their sectoral index recorded 12.6 percent daily growth. Eurobank led with a 13.79 percent rise, followed by Alpha (up 13.64 percent), Piraeus (11.38 percent) and National Bank (10.91 percent). Hellenic Exchanges increased 9.89 percent.

In total 78 stocks posted gains, 24 registered losses and 17 ended unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 68.7 million euros, up from Thursday’s 52.8 million.

In Nicosia the general index of the Cyprus Stock Exchange advanced 0.95 percent to 67.17 points.