Buoyant banks push bourse to new year-high

Stocks gained significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), hitting yet another year-high as investors went after bank shares. The ASE compound share index closed at 4,675.54 points, a gain of 60.06 points or 1.30 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips gained 1.52 percent to close at 2,551.63 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.78 percent and 1.16 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International gained 1.43 percent, closing at 6,700.35 points. Sixteen of 17 sectoral indices gained. The exception was industrial goods and services, which declined 0.21 percent. The top gainers were insurance (up 2.02 percent), banks (1.99 percent), utilities (1.90 percent) and travel and leisure. Among blue chips, Piraeus Bank (up 4.23 percent to -26.64) and Bank of Cyprus (3.97 percent to -12.06) reached all-time highs. Other big gainers were games of chance software and terminals maker Intralot (higher 5.07 percent to -29.00), Public Power Corporation (2.24 percent to -20.96), Alpha Bank (1.71 percent to -25.02), Postal Savings Bank (1.66 percent to -19.60), cement maker Titan (1.43 percent to -42.60) and National Bank (1.41 percent to -37.30). Turnover reached 437.37 million, including 42.54 million in prearranged trades.

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