Stocks ended higher but off their day’s highs at the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday, as the market failed to fully benefit from a strong rebound in other European markets.

Bank shares were weak, hit by continuing speculation over a Greek debt default.

The composite index of the market rose 0.61 pct to end at 739.97 points, after rising as much as 3.44 pct during the session. Turnover was a low 55.809 million euros.

The Big Cap index rose 0.73 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 0.14 pct lower and the Small Cap index rose 0.41 pct.

PPC (5.86 pct), Mytilineos (5.51 pct), OPAP (3.67 pct) and Alpha Bank (3.64 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Marfin Popular Bank (3.03 pct), Jumbo (2.86 pct) and National Bank (2.73 pct) suffered losses.

The Utilities (5.06 pct), Raw Materials (3.63 pct) and Travel (3.35 pct) sectors scored gains, while Health (2.89 pct) and Personal Products (1.88 pct) suffered losses. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 63 to 61 with another 50 issues unchanged. Dromeas (20 pct), Vioter (10 pct) and Avenir (10 pct) were top gainers, while PC Systems (16.67 pct), Intertek (14.89 pct) and Alapis (11.11 pct) were top losers.