Banks lift bourse for the sixth straight day

Greek stocks stayed northbound for a sixth straight session yesterday on more good nine-month results by commercial banks and an improved sentiment in other European bourses after the US Federal Reserve’s statement on interest rates. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index was up 0.44 percent, closing at 5,334.50 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 0.37 percent, reaching 2,841.23 points. The mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index gained 0.99 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index rose by 0.16 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International closed up 0.46 percent. Banks National, Marfin Popular (MPB) and Piraeus, as well as the Piraeus Port Authority, Fourlis and Frigoglass closed at new historic highs. MPB surged 3.70 percent, Alpha Bank advanced 1.75 percent to -25.54 after Citigroup raised its target price to -27 from -25, and Postal Savings Bank added 1.29 percent. Piraeus bank, which announced a 50 percent jump in third-quarter profit, and National Bank added 0.65 percent and 0.59 percent, respectively. By contrast, Titan shed 2.49 percent after announcing a profit drop, Coca-Cola HBC was 1.79 percent lower and and Viohalco declined 1.40 percent. Turnover rose to -619.99 million, of which -125.79 million was in block trades.