ECONOMY

Mild bank gains lead stocks 0.23 percent higher

Mild gains in banks helped pull the Athens bourse 0.23 percent higher yesterday as the market inched away from oversold levels after losing more than 5 percent last week. Brokers said the gains were technical in nature and that investors were focusing on more 2001 results expected this week, as the reporting season draws to an end on Thursday. «The market continues to be weak despite growing signs of a technical rebound – trade was colorless,» said Grigoris Karayiannopoulos, analyst at Bank of Cyprus Securities. The Athens benchmark general index added 0.23 percent to 2,356.97 points. «Investors were relieved that the market is steadying after last week’s volatility but are still nervous as the recent fall took its toll on sentiment,» said Marinos Giourgas, broker at Market Securities. The FTSE/ASE index of blue chips added 0.45 percent to 1,287.02 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps eased 0.26 percent and small-caps slipped 0.15 percent. Banks edged ahead 0.56 percent and telecom stocks firmed 0.09 percent. Total turnover was 72.1 million euros on volume of 14 million shares.(Reuters) Ericsson wins defense deal