Profit-taking ends ASE’s winning streak

Investors took profits yesterday, pulling the brake on a five-session winning streak on the Athens bourse. Bourse heavyweight OTE added another 1.25 percent to its more than 7 percent advance so far this week. OTE closed at 9.7 euros while the Athens benchmark general index fell 0.4 percent to 1,622.54 points. «Investors took profits in small- and mid-cap stocks although blue chips were able to preserve gains,» said analyst Stavros Christodoulou at Guardian Trust. Blue chips eased 0.08 percent to 788.37 points. Mid-caps dropped 1.6 percent while small-caps lost 2.58 percent. Telecoms company Forthnet trimmed early gains of more than 5 percent to close 2.26 percent higher at 5.44 euros, as investors figured the sale of a 21 percent stake in the company by ferry operator Minoan Lines would carry a premium. Turnover eased to 105.75 million euros, with 40.7 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 281 to 49 with 27 shares unchanged on 357 traded. (Reuters)