Index dips below 1,900 pts in thin trade

Equities slipped to close below the 1,900 mark yesterday, as a number of shares traded ex-dividend, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom ending flat ahead of an annual shareholders meeting. «We had a low volume session with many stocks trading ex-dividend which weighed the benchmark index. There was some portfolio reshuffling as the first half of the year ended,» said Nick Diamantopoulos at Kappa Securities institutional desk. Turnover eased to 123.9 million euros on volume of 30 million shares, with the benchmark index dropping 0.50 percent to 1,892.04 points. Decliners led advancers 229 to 88, with 40 stocks ending unchanged on 357 traded. Alpha Bank gained 1.2 percent to 15.18 points, despite a downgrade to «neutral» from «buy» by Merrill Lynch, which said the shares hit a fair value target of 14.8 euros after a 27 percent climb. Blue chips fell 0.29 percent to 947.15 points, with mid-caps losing 0.75 percent and small-caps, 1.15 percent. (Reuters)

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