ECONOMY

ECB rate cut puts an end to stocks rally

Stocks took a breather yesterday, easing back as a European Central Bank decision to cut interest rates by 50 basis points (0.50 percent) spurred the euro higher and sparked concerns about profits at companies with export activity. The general index lost 0.41 percent to 1,832.08 points. «It’s no surprise to see a correction today, given the fact European bourses turned lower. But there was less pressure on Athens than on European bourses because there’s still strong buying interest, especially in index heavyweights like OTE,» said analyst Elias Lazaris at Artion Securities. Blue chips ended off 0.63 percent to 917.59 points, while mid-caps were flat and small-caps rose 0.01 percent. Turnover eased to 175.75 million euros from Wednesday’s 559.27 million euros, with 49.5 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 223 to 93, with 47 shares unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)