ECONOMY

Strong banks and telecoms boost stocks

Equities rose 0.78 percent yesterday on strong banks as investors took positions before more nine-month earnings results in the sector, while telecoms extended recent gains. «Improved sentiment in the banking sector in Europe in combination with the first signs that earnings will not be as bad as expected are helping the sector rebound,» said analyst Andreas Karalis at Merit Securities. The Athens benchmark general index ended at 1,848.56 points after reaching an intra-session high of 1,864.85 points. Banks gained 1.24 percent. The sector has gained more than 6 percent since Alpha’s nine-month earnings beat market expectations last week. Blue chips added 1.06 percent to 930.23 points. Mid-caps firmed 0.19 percent while small-caps eased 0.29 percent. Turnover was 87.10 million euros on 23.8 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 174 to 122 with 59 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)