ECONOMY

Banks lead index to a new year-high

For yet another week, bank stocks set the tone for the local bourse, leading it in fresh gains after the bank index rose by 8.16 percent on a weekly basis. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed the week on Friday at 2,280.15 points, recording a 6.24-percent rise from the previous week’s close. On Wednesday, the main index actually recorded a new high for the year, reaching 2,309.79 points. Observers note that banks have generated a sentiment of greed for investors, who have been trying daily to register short-term gains, regardless of the negative situation of the Greek economy, as confirmed this week by Bank of Greece and National Statistical Service data. At this rate, the domestic market is likely to cover in the first half of the year all the losses it incurred last year (down 65.7 percent). Stockbrokers explained to Kathimerini that this is still a difficult period for the bourse, as the markets’ recent rebound has not been followed by any improvement in the economy’s macroeconomic figures.