ECONOMY

Banks drive market higher

The Athens Stock Exchange composite share price index closed last Friday at 3,568.35 points, a gain of 39.11 points or 1.11 percent on the previous week’s close, thanks mostly to bank-driven gains in Thursday’s session. Turnover rose to 1.52 billion euros, an average of 379.21 million euros per session, from 345.08 million the previous week. Almost all major indices gained: the exception was the FTSE/Athex Small Cap 80, which declined 2.18 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 2.44 percent to close at 1,964.75 points, the FTSE/Athex Mid 40 gained 2.42 percent to close at 3,887.73 points, the composite FTSE/Athex 140 index gained 2.20 percent to close at 4,314.05 points and the FTSE/Athex International index gained 2.34 percent to close at 5,069.82 points. Twelve of the 17 sectoral indices gained. Top gainers were utilities (4.42 percent), banks (4.31 percent) and insurance (2.69 percent). Top losers were technology (4.28 percent), chemicals (3.44 percent) and construction (2.34 percent). Among individual titles, the top gainers were Xylemboria’s preferred stock (27.69 percent), Teletypos (15.26 percent) and Active Investment (13 percent). Top losers were Vis (22.73 percent) and the preferred stock of Emborikos Desmos (21.21 percent) and Tria Alfa (18.79 percent). National Bank topped the list of the most heavily traded shares, with an average turnover of 38.78 million euros per session. It was trailed by OPAP (33.72 million), Alpha Bank (27.66 million), Bank of Cyprus (24.68 million) and Emporiki Bank (20.45 million).