Improved sentiment in global equity markets helped lift the Athens bourse 4 percent yesterday as National Bank outperformed after its first-quarter earnings beat expectations. The bourse’s benchmark general index rose 3.85 percent to 2,417.01 points. National Bank jumped 7.59 percent to 20.70 euros after it suprised the market late on Friday by reporting a lower-than-expected 21 percent drop in net profit to 317 million euros. Meanwhile, world stock markets extended strong gains yesterday after a US manufacturing survey provided further evidence that the global economy may be poised for recovery in the second half of the year. Turnover on the Athens bourse fell to 339.4 million euros from 433.4 million in the previous session.