ECONOMY

Market slightly off due to profit-locking

Stocks eased yesterday as investors locked in gains after the market climbed to nine-month highs this week, driven by optimism that heavyweight banks are pulling out of a slump. The Athens benchmark general index fell 0.91 percent to 1,910.60 points. «We had some profit-taking which was much milder than we expected. Both the stock and bond markets have performed strongly over past months and investors believe that banks will have increased trading gains this half-year,» said analyst Thanos Ipirotis at Alpha Finance. Blue chips eased 0.89 percent to 961.32 points, while mid-caps fell 0.46 percent and small-caps lost 0.27 percent. Banks gained 0.28 percent. National Bank rose 1.35 percent to 15.02 euros while Cyprus Bank fell 2.28 percent to 2.57 euros. Turnover was an improved 242.18 million euros from Thursday’s 203.44 million euros with 63.6 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 189 to 135 with 38 shares unchanged on 362 traded. (Reuters)