ECONOMY

Stocks rally over 3 pct, driven by banks

Stocks rallied more than 3 percent yesterday, boosted by solid gains in European markets and a rebound in local banks as investors discounted better-than-expected nine-month results in the sector. Brokers said Alpha Bank’s earnings last week boosted sentiment in financials with investors now expecting a similar picture from Alpha’s peers. «The positive surprise in Alpha Bank’s earnings… created hopes for a better profit picture from other banks. This in part drove the rally,» said Haris Papadimitriou, analyst at Intersec Securities. The Athens bourse benchmark general index ended up 3.29 percent to 1,834.19 points, while banks gained 4.53 percent. Blue chips on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE index advanced 3.95 percent to 918.95 points. Mid-caps rose 3.82 percent with small-caps up 3.18 percent. Turnover improved to 123.48 million euros on 31.3 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 337 to 14 with 15 shares unchanged on 366 traded. (Reuters)