ECONOMY

Robust banks power index to new year-high

Greek stocks rebounded yesterday, helped by a positive climate in other European bourses and on the back of a strong performance by heavyweight banks. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed 0.91 percent up at a new year-high of 3,422.36 points. Investors’ favor centered on blue chips and the FTSE/ASE 20 index gained 1.13 percent. The FTSE/ASE Mid 40 added 0.77 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 ended 0.60 percent higher. Most sectoral indices headed north, led by investment (2.64 percent) and banks (2.16 percent). Refineries were the worst-hit for the second consecutive day, ending 1.99 percent lower. Eurobank outperformed all other blue chips with gains of 4.46 percent, after its announcement of above-expectations nine-month results on Thursday and receiving upgrades of price targets by UBS, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. It closed at 27.62 euros. Alpha Bank advanced 2.47 percent and National Bank added 1.22 percent. Public Power Corporation, Intracom, Duty Free Shops and Germanos also gained, while Hellenic Petroleum, Motor Oil, Titan, CosmOTE and OPAP finished lower. Turnover rose to 213.86 million euros.