Profit-taking leads stocks slightly lower

Stocks fell yesterday, as investors locked in gains from previous sessions. The Athens Stock Exchange benchmark general index dropped 0.58 percent to close at 1,663.77 points. All but three sectoral indices declined; the exceptions were banks, up 0.78 percent, insurance firms (1.08 percent) and retail commerce (0.67 percent). Hardest hit were IT solutions/equipment (2.37 percent) and holding companies (2.24 percent). Among individual stocks, Kego rose 16.18 percent. Decliners were led by Informatics (11.56 percent), closely followed by Intersat (11.54 percent) and Emborikos Desmos (11.54 percent). Blue chips eased 0.45 percent, while mid-caps dropped 0.48 percent and small caps 0.38 percent. The composite FTSE/ASE-140 index fell 0.45 percent. Turnover fell to 79.5 million euros. Decliners led advancers 181 to 119 with another 53 issues unchanged. The stock market will close today and Monday for the Orthodox Easter holiday.