ECONOMY

Stocks start the week with gains

Greek stocks got off to a positive start to the week yesterday, gaining 2.53 percent as buyers turned to banks. The Athens Exchange’s benchmark general index ended at 1,689.55 points. Alpha Bank, Greece’s third-largest lender, soared 9.20 percent to 4.75 euros while Bank of Cyprus added 8.21 percent to 2.24 euros. Sentiment in financials got a boost worldwide after the Obama administration announced a plan to help banks purge as much as $1 trillion in bad assets from their books. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index rose by 3.14 percent to 849.85 points. OTE telecom advanced 1.26 percent to 11.26 euros. Turnover reached 121.5 million euros versus 150.5 million euros in the previous session.