Optimism about developments in the local banking sector propelled stocks on the Greek bourse higher yesterday following two days of losses for the main index. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,612.38 points yesterday, growing by 2.66 percent from Wednesday’s close at 1,570.59 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded 3.37 percent to end up at 789.69 points. Investors seemed to be certain of good news from the stress tests for banks, whose results are set to be announced this evening. The banks sectoral index gained 5.06 percent, outperforming all other indices. Alpha Bank posted significant gains of 8.07 percent, followed by Eurobank EFG (up 7.65 percent), National Bank (4.72 percent) and Piraeus Bank (4.62 percent). Motor Oil was the only blue chip stock to post a decrease yesterday, going down 1.14 percent. Overall, 120 ATHEX stocks registered gains, led by Neorio with a 10 percent rise, 53 headed south, with CPI dropping 10 percent, and 46 remained unchanged. Turnover came to 103.2 million euros, up from Wednesday’s 75 million.