ECONOMY

Stocks rise as turnover dips to 7-year low

Bank gains helped lift Greek stocks for a second consecutive session yesterday, but turnover continued to ease, dipping to a seven-year low. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index gained 1.21 percent to end at 1,428.15 points, after adding 0.49 percent on Tuesday. With sellers apparently occupying themselves with more festive activities, turnover eased to 37.6 million euros, down from 49 million in the previous session, the lowest level seen since February 2003, according to brokers. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index added 1.21 percent to end at 669.26 points. National Bank firmed 0.97 percent to close at 6.22 euros, while peer Alpha jumped 2.05 percent to 3.98 euros. Coca-Cola Hellenic advanced 2.37 percent to 19.45 euros and construction group Ellaktor rose 0.97 percent to 3.34 euros. On the downside, Piraeus Bank eased 0.27 percent to 3.65 euros and power company PPC dipped 0.64 percent to 10.90 euros. Marfin Popular Bank fell 2.75 percent to 1.06 euros. The small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index added 1.46 percent, while the mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index ended up 0.28 percent. The Athens bourse will be open tomorrow but will close early, at 3.20 p.m., due to the January 1 holiday.