Stocks slip 0.68 pct due to profit-taking

Equities slipped yesterday as nervous investors eying weak European markets locked in recent gains while retailer Hellenic Duty Free outperformed. HDF trimmed gains of more than 1.5 percent to end up at 7.82 euros, up 1.03 percent, on news that bidders had upped their offer to buy a majority stake in the company. The general index ended at 1,677.32 points, a 0.68 percent drop, after gaining nearly 1 percent on Tuesday. «Losses in European markets gave investors a motive to lock in yesterday’s gains,» said Manos Mavrogenis, analyst at Laiki Attalos Securities. Telecom stocks slipped 0.47 percent with heavyweight OTE losing 0.69 percent to 11.56 euros. Blue chips fell 0.66 percent to 833.19 points. Mid-caps fell 0.95 percent and small-caps lost 1.38 percent. Turnover on the Greek bourse was 40.80 million euros, with 12.7 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 251 to 53 with 48 shares unchanged on 352 traded. (Reuters)