Stocks back on top of 1,700 pts

Greek stocks got off to a strong start this week with buying in banks rubbing off on the broader market against a backdrop of advancing European peers. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index gained 3.85 percent to end at 1,746.72 points yesterday, after touching on an intrasession high of 1,751 points. Banks soared 7.22 percent, bringing gains over the last month to 35.3 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index jumped 4.85 percent to 866.92 points. Betting company OPAP advanced 1.32 percent to 11.50 euros and OTE telecom moved ahead 1.12 percent to 6.30 euros. Power company PPC added 2.38 percent to 12.50 euros, while construction group Ellaktor ended at 3.54 euros, up 2.91 percent. The only two blue chip stocks to end the session in the red were Coke bottler Hellenic Bottling (-0.44 percent to 18.02 euros) and toy retailer Jumbo (-3.11 percent to 5.91 euros). In late-afternoon trade, London’s FTSE, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were showing gains of between 2.3 and 2.98 percent on reports of strong results from HSBC and BNP Paribas. Turnover reached 133.07 million euros versus 90.2 million in the previous session.