ECONOMY

Investors keep eye on National Bank

With an eye on National Bank, investors will be looking to see whether improved sentiment on foreign bourses is enough to help reverse a two-week slide on local stocks. On Friday, the Athens bourse’s (ATHEX) benchmark general index firmed 0.82 percent to 1,514.26 points. The market gave up 0.65 percent for the week, following a previous weekly dip of more than 4 percent. Brokers said that National Bank’s rights, which start trading today through October 5, could draw interest from foreign players interested in taking a position in Greece ahead of expected merger activity in the sector. The subscription period for the issue will run from today until October 11. Meanwhile, United States stock investors will head into this week wondering if September will end as strongly as it began for the market, with manufacturing and personal income data among the top indicators on tap. The data will be watched for further clues on whether the economic recovery is still on track and to see if the market’s recent rally has support. Friday’s advance left the three major US stock indexes with gains for the fourth week in a row, boosting investors’ confidence that the upward move will continue.