Stocks rise but weak banks limit upside

Late selling trimmed gains on the bourse yesterday as banks slipped after a ratings downgrade on two of the country’s largest banks by UBS Warburg. Banks lost 0.49 percent, with Alpha Bank and Commercial Bank among the day’s biggest losers, down 1.39 and 3.45 percent respectively. «With investors not convinced by the market’s recent uptrend, UBS’s downgrade played an important role and hurt sentiment,» said analyst Haralambos Papadimitriou at Intersec Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 1.27 percent to 1,828.87 points after hitting an intra-session high of 1,847.56 points. Blue chips added 0.66 percent to 907.48 points. «There are doubts concerning the sustainability of the rebound,» said Manos Mavrogenis, analyst at Laiki Attalos Securities. Turnover rose to 96.09 million euros with 26.4 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 303 to 31 while 28 shares closed unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)