Leap for banks boosts ATHEX

The domestic stock market reached new heights for the year yesterday, driven by a significant rise by the banking sector that also propelled most blue chips higher. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index grew to 2,652.03 points yesterday, gaining 1.55 percent from last Friday’s close at 2,611.56 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index went up 1.93 percent to end up at 1,406.58 points. The general picture of the market is that foreign portfolios continue to buy Greek stocks, while local investors are awaiting the correction that refuses to come. The banks’ sectoral index expanded by 2.45 percent. The biggest rises among blue chips were for Marfin Popular Bank (up 5.41 percent), Alpha Bank (4.44 percent), Bank of Cyprus (4.26 percent) and Piraeus Bank (2.13), while National Bank rose by 1.37 percent. Turnover amounted to 235.5 million euros.