Profit-taking drives index 0.81 pct lower

Stocks fell yesterday with investors taking short-term profits after a 4 percent climb by banks a day earlier. Sentiment was also affected by weaker European markets. The bourse’s benchmark general index closed at 1,566.51 points, down 0.81 percent. Banks ended 0.94 percent lower. «It was to be expected that there would be some profit-taking and consolidation in bank shares after yesterday’s gains,» said analyst Dimitris Apistoulas at EFG Eurobank Securities. Telecom stocks lost 0.81 percent with OTE Telecom edging 0.22 percent higher to 9.12 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index lost 0.82 percent to 754.25 points. Mid-caps rose 2.2 percent to 168.31 points while small-caps gained 3.61 percent. Turnover fell to 86.52 million euros from Monday’s 103.71 million, with 30.9 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 199 to 110 with 49 shares unchanged on 358 traded. (Reuters)