ECONOMY

ASE retreats, follows foreign markets

Equities dropped 1.35 percent on Monday, tracking sliding European bourses on sharply lower turnover ahead of yesterday’s public holiday. «The market is moving in line with Europe with some selective buying and portfolio reshuffling taking place based on first-quarter earnings expectations,» said Vassilis Vlastarakis, analyst at Contalexis Securities. The general index ended at 1,549.21 points, after gaining more than 2 percent on Friday. Blue chips shed 1.33 percent to 748.39 points. Banks eased 0.75 percent. Telecoms dropped 2.22 percent but still outperformed European peers, which were down 3.3 percent late on the day. Index heavyweight OTE Telecom fell 2.04 percent to 9.62 euros. Mid-caps dropped 1.41 percent and small-caps retreated 2.30 percent. Turnover fell to 39.84 million euros from 92 million in the previous session with 16 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 270 to 57 with 27 shares unchanged on 354 traded. (Reuters)