ECONOMY

Stocks climb above 2,000 pts

Stocks on the Athens exchange rose for a third straight session yesterday, regaining the 2,000-point mark, on solid gains in banks. Brokers said growing speculation that the European Union may be finalizing a rescue plan for Greece helped boost sentiment ahead of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s visit to Berlin on Friday. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index advanced 2.65 percent to 2,021.75 points, bringing gains over the five sessions to 4.85 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew 2.84 percent to 1,011.85 points. Banks jumped 3.30 percent, led by Alpha Bank, which added 4.99 percent to 7.37 euros. National Bank moved 3.47 percent higher to 14.90 euros and EFG Eurobank climbed 3.72 percent to 6.41 euros. Turnover reached 203.7 million euros versus 198 million previously.