Athens bourse jumps 3.1 pct

Banks pulled the Greek bourse higher yesterday for a change, after a series of sessions with heavy losses. Favorable reports on the local market by foreign firms such as Citigroup and Lehman Brothers helped offset at least some of the week’s decline. The assurance given by the European Central Bank that yesterday’s rate hike will not be the start of an upward cycle has also helped the mood. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 3,289.40 points, 3.10 percent higher than on Wednesday. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 4.08 percent to 1,776.01 points. Outperforming among blue chips were the stocks of Piraeus Bank (up 8.67 percent), Mytilineos (7.44 percent), National Bank (6.76 percent) and Viohalco (6.58 percent). The biggest losses were for Titan (down 3.22 percent). Turnover reached 437.7 million euros.