ECONOMY

Main index rises above 1,700 pts

Most Greek stocks headed north yesterday and the main index cleared the 1,700-point level thanks to the optimistic atmosphere created by the positive feedback of the visiting European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund representatives as well as the government’s decision to issue a civil mobilization order to force striking truck drivers back to work. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 1,708.38 points, posting a rise of 1.21 percent from Wednesday’s close at 1,688.00 points, although it had risen by as much as 2.23 percent at one point during the session. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded by 1.00 percent to end up at 846.46 points. Mid-caps continued on an upward trajectory with their FTSE/ATHEX 40 index climbing 2.77 percent. The biggest gains among blue chips were for Marfin Investment Group (up 7.34 percent), Viohalco (5.94 percent) and Hellenic Postbank (3.73 percent). A total of 165 stocks moved up, with Babis Vovos growing by 17.32 percent, 35 went down, including Elmec Sport, which contracted by 9.59 percent, and 43 remained unchanged. Turnover came to 129.9 million euros, down from Wednesday’s 144.4 million.