ECONOMY

Index drops to slightly over 1,700 points

Stocks fell yesterday as first-quarter results from Titan Cement disappointed and investors figured Hellenic Petroleum was unlikely to repeat a strong first quarter, locking in gains. Titan lost 3.97 percent to 32.44 euros, while the Athens benchmark general index fell 1.39 percent to 1,708.26 points. Hellenic Petroleum gave up 2.74 percent to 5.68 euros after saying its first-quarter net profit more than doubled – at the top end of market expectations – boosted by strong regional demand and a jump in refining margins. Brokers said the shares fell amid concerns the profit growth may not be sustainable if oil prices weaken. Blue chips lost 1.75 percent to 844.59 points. Mid-caps fell 1.14 percent, while small-caps closed down 0.92 percent. Turnover eased to 93.26 million euros from Tuesday’s 113.7 million euros, with 26.1 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 247 to 72. (Reuters)