Index lower as investors cash in on gains

Stocks eased yesterday as investors locked in gains from last week’s 10 percent rally on the bourse. Heavyweight OTE bucked the trend as the promise of a solid dividend kept interest in the shares high. OTE rose 2.49 percent to 10.70 euros. It has now gained nearly 20 percent, or 1.76 euros, since it reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. The Athens benchmark general index lost 0.44 percent to 1,868.46 points. «A correction was in the works after last week’s gains. OTE continues to rise as a dividend of about 0.70 euros per share is a yield of 6.5 percent and that’s hard to say no to,» said analyst Elias Lazaris at Artion Securities. Blue chips eased 0.34 percent to 938.80 points, while mid-caps rose 0.38 percent and small-caps gained 0.42 percent. Turnover rose to 185.61 million euros, with 60.5 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 202 to 128, with 36 shares unchanged on 366 traded. (Reuters)

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