Jan 26 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, on Friday marked its first weekly gain in three as rates for capesize and panamax vessels improved.
* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 2 points, or 0.16 percent, at 1,219 points. It rose 8.4 percent this week.
* The capesize index rose 20 points, or 1.14 percent, to 1,772 points. The index gained nearly 19 percent this week, its biggest weekly percentage gain since September last year.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $121 to $14,057.
* The panamax index rose to over five-week highs, up 11 points, or 0.74 percent, at 1,492 points. It was up 12 percent this week.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $87 to $11,958.
* Among smaller vessels, both supramax index and handysize index shed 4 points to 900 points and 577 points, respectively. (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)