Stocks down 0.92 percent after profit-taking

Softer banks led the Athens bourse 0.92 percent lower yesterday as profit-taking ended the market’s two-session bank-led rally after news of a merger between Greece’s two largest commercial banks. Banks fell 2.10 percent after jumping more than 6 percent on Thursday. National lost 3.27 percent to 28.96 euros and Alpha ended at 20.80 euros, down 4.15 percent. The bourse’s benchmark general index lost 0.92 percent to 2,531.15 points, ending the week up 160.69 points or 6.7 percent. Piraeus Bank gained 2.59 percent to 9.50 euros and Commercial Bank eased 1.70 percent to 32.44 euros. Commercial’s Chairman Yiannis Stournaras issued a verbal statement to the media denying what he said was a market rumor that his bank was in talks with Agricultural Bank. Agricultural Bank advanced 2.96 percent to 8.34 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index lost 1.41 percent to 1,423.23 points and mid-caps closed flat, up 0.02 percent. Small-caps rose 0.47 percent. Turnover was 172.43 million euros on 36.6 million shares traded.

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