ECONOMY

Euphoric banks set tune for market as a whole

Greek stocks recovered most of Wednesday’s losses yesterday but closed significantly lower than levels reached during the course of the session. Developments in the banking sector set the momentum for the Athens bourse general index to close 0.99 percent higher at 3,578.55 points, after rising 2.11 percent. Bellwether National Bank surged 3.32 percent to 28.00 euros and Alpha Bank advanced 2.37 percent. Emporiki, the object of current acquisition bids, was 1.47 percent higher. Duty Free Shops outperformed other blue chips by climbing 3.51 percent; gaming firm OPAP gained 2.47 percent and Hellenic Petroleum added 2.04 percent. In contrast, Coca-Cola HBC and Public Power Corporation declined 2.62 percent and 1.88 percent respectively. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index added 1.23 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 advanced 1.67 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 gained 1.40 percent. Most sectoral indices headed north, led by travel & entertainment which was 2.13 percent higher, closely followed by media with 2.12 percent. Banks gained 1.85 percent. Turnover rose to 386.34 million euros, of which 143.6 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities, banks National, Piraeus, Cyprus and Emporiki.