ECONOMY

Late buying in banks ups main index

A spurt of buying interest in bank stocks toward the end of trade yesterday reversed the day’s losses for the local bourse’s main index, which managed to clear the 1,500-point mark during a session of low turnover. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,501.40 points, growing by 0.13 percent from Monday’s close at 1,499.39 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index gained 0.63 percent to end at 718.12 points. However, the mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index declined by 1.55 percent. Hellenic Postbank outperformed blue chips with a rise of 4.22 percent, ahead of Eurobank EFG (up 3.55 percent), Piraeus Bank (2.07 percent) and National Bank (1.91 percent). ATEbank, whose employees will strike today for the third consecutive day, saw its stock drop by 2.47 percent, while Motor Oil dropped by 1.94 percent and OTE telecom lost 1.66 percent. In total, 68 stocks moved up, 78 went down and 65 remained unchanged. Euroholdings led the gainers with growth of 11.11 percent, while Alapis posted the biggest loss with a 16 percent decline. Turnover came to 73.3 million euros, down from 87.9 million on Monday.