Market optimism about banks’ stress test results, expected to be published on Friday, sent Greek bank stocks higher yesterday, with the bourse continuing on the upward course it had embarked upon last week. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,626.60 points yesterday, increasing 0.85 percent over last Friday’s close at 1,612.87 points. At one point it had risen to just over 1,640 points, but could not maintain the momentum. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 1.29 percent to end up at 796.06 points. The sectoral banks index posted a 2.50 percent rise, as Alpha Bank jumped 4.23 percent, Eurobank EFG gained 4.20 percent, Hellenic Postbank rose by 3.31 percent, Bank of Cyprus added 2.08 percent and National Bank expanded by 2 percent. It was the eighth straight day of growth for National’s stock. However, there were losses of more than 2 percent for Viohalco, Ellaktor and ATEbank. A total of 102 stocks rose, led by Mochlos (18.18 percent rise), 76 fell, with Boutaris shedding 18.75 percent, and 43 remained unchanged. Turnover came to 110.2 million euros.