Late buying lifts stocks higher

The Athens bourse ended in positive territory yesterday on the back of late-session buying but banks continued to remain out of favor. The Athens Exchange’s benchmark general index inched 0.17 percent higher to 1,925.20 points, finishing the session just off the day’s high. But banks shed 3.39 percent, as financial stocks across Europe were particularly badly hit by recession fears after Citigroup announced it would cut thousands of jobs. National Bank, Greece’s largest lender, lost 4.59 percent to 14.12 euros, while Piraeus Bank slumped 5.62 percent to 7.72 euros. Pharmaceutical firm Alapis outperformed, jumping 6.25 percent to 1.36 euros. Turnover reached 192.4 million euros versus 135 million euros in the previous session.