The seventh consecutive northbound session on the Athens Exchange yesterday (ATHEX) took the general index to highs unseen since April 2000, rising above the 5,000-point mark. The bourse closed at 5001.26 points, posting a rise of 0.95 percent over Thursday’s 4,954.13 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 0.99 percent to close at 2,656.88 points, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 was up 0.68 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index climbed 0.13 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International index added 0.95 percent to reach 7,141.01 points. Yesterday’s growth relied mostly on banks, which also kept the volume traded very high, while the favorable climate in Europe also helped. Among blue chips, EFG Eurobank outperformed with a significant 4.58 percent rise, followed by Marfin Popular Bank (up 3.37 percent), PPC (3.07 percent), Viohalco (3 percent), Postal Savings Bank (2.76 percent), ATEbank (2.07 percent) and Piraeus Bank (1.94 percent). All but three sectoral indexes posted growth, led by financial services (up 3.46 percent), insurance (2.86 percent), mass media (2.47 percent) and utilities (2.45 percent). Turnover totaled -611.9 million, of which -138.44 million concerned block trades.