Blue chips feel brunt of profit-taking

Stocks slipped into negative territory yesterday as investors locked in gains from the recent rally, with blue chips feeling the brunt of the correction. The benchmark general share index lost 0.41 percent to close at 2,182 points, pulled down by the 0.68 percent drop in blue chips index to 1,085.12 points. «Today’s correction was expected in view of the market’s recent strong gains,» said an analyst. The banking index fell 0.42 percent to 3,699.03 points, with the major banks giving up some of their recent gains. Bellwether National Bank lost 0.22 percent to 18.04 euros and Commercial Bank shed 1.19 percent to 18.32 euros. Profit-taking also knocked heavyweight OTE which shed 1.23 percent to 11.28 euros. Bourse operator Hellenic Exchanges bucked the trend, closing up 4 percent at 6.76 euros. Turnover rose to 220.16 million euros, with 55 million shares traded. Advancers outnumbered decliners 193 to 138, with 39 unchanged. (Reuters)