ECONOMY

Profit-taking erases index’s early gains

The Athens Stock Exchange benchmark general index briefly rose over 2,100 points but finally failed to hold the level. The index closed at 2,076.69 points, a loss of 0.04 percent. In the first half hour of the session, spurred on by rising European markets, it had reached 2,110 points, with 240 stocks gaining ground and just 30 declining. After 1 p.m., however, the supply of stocks by investors locking in gains failed to be absorbed by fresh demand and the gains were reversed. The first ones to begin selling their shares were National Bank shareholders. Greece’s largest bank announces its first-half results today. At the end, decliners led advancers 189 to 149. Overall losses would have been greater if heavyweight OTE had not advanced 2.15 percent. Blue chips rose 0.24 percent, while mid-caps dropped 0.73 percent and small-caps fell 0.53 percent. Turnover rose to 189.44 million euros, of which 6.44 million concerned pre-arranged share block sales.