New year-high, thanks to banks

Banks managed to pull the stock market to a new year-high yesterday, despite a continuing decline for the majority of state-owned stocks ahead of a likely change of government with the October 4 elections. The local market, therefore, outperformed the main European bourses for the day. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index rose to 2,565.05 points yesterday, adding 1.47 percent over Monday’s close. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index went up by 1.95 percent to end at 1,350.61 points. Leading blue chips were the stocks of Marfin Popular Bank (up 5.64 percent), Bank of Cyprus (4.38 percent) and Hellaktor (4.16 percent). Moving southward were OTE (down 2.71 percent), Public Power Corporation (1.75 percent) and OPAP (1.68 percent). Turnover reached 226.2 million euros.