NEW YORK, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Greek shares traded in the United States jumped on Monday as the merger of two Greek banks sparked speculation of more deals in the sector and lifted optimism that Greece may emerge from its debt crisis.
Greek banks Alpha (ACBr.AT) and EFG Eurobank EFGr.AT sealed a merger on Monday, with help from Qatar, and their shares shot up 30 percent as soon as the bourse lifted a trading suspension. [ID:nLDE77S070]
Alpha and EFG Eurobank do not trade in New York, but shares of National Bank of Greece NBG.N rallied nearly 40 percent to $1.15 on volume that was the highest in nearly four months and more than triple the average of the last 50 days.
Other Greek shares were also in demand in New York. Shares in Dryships Inc (DRYS.O), a worldwide drybulk and crude oil shipping company, rose 13.2 percent to $3.09, but trading volume was only slightly above its long-run average.
The BNY Mellon's index of leading ADRs .BKADR rose 2.6 percent, while in comparison the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index .SPX added 2.8 percent.
Banks around Europe, many of which have exposure to Greek debt and that of other debt-laden European countries, also rose sharply. British banks were among the biggest gainers. Barclays Plc (BCS.N) rose 6.6 percent to $10.87.
Trading volume across equity markets was reduced because London, Europe’s largest stock exchange, was closed for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Recent losses in equity markets combined with increased optimism helped spur a broad rally in foreign stocks that extended far beyond Europe’s markets.
Many Japanese ADRs rose as the BNY Mellon’s index of Japanese shares traded in New York .BKJP rose 1.3 percent. Consumer electronics maker Sony Corp (SNE.N) was a standout, rising 4.5 percent to $21.63.
South American stocks were sharply higher. Brazil’s Petrobras (PBR.N), an integrated oil and gas company, rose 3.5 percent to $28.57 in New York trade. (Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Leslie Adler)