Profit-taking leads index slightly lower

The wide swings in mood that marked yesterday’s trading on the Athens bourse ended with the general index shedding 3.29 points, or 0.15 percent, from Monday’s year-high to close at 2,240.38 points. Analysts said profit-taking was expected after the index reached 2,284 points in intra-session trading. Blue chips held their ground, with the FTSE/ASE 20 index rising 0.03 percent to 1,121.48 points. The mid-cap FTSE/ASE 40 receded 0.33 percent to 247.26 points and the small-cap FTSE/ASE 80 shed 0.88 percent to 709.68 points. Among sectoral indices, heavyweight banks edged up 0.30 percent, with National gaining 1.06 percent, Emporiki 0.77 percent and Piraeus 0.68 percent. For a second consecutive day, 500,000 shares of Alpha Bank changed hands in block trading. Telecoms declined 0.63 percent. OTE, the session’s most marketable security, ended 0.70 percent lower. The insurance index dropped 3.12 percent. Turnover grew to 245 million euros; decliners outnumbered winners 217 to 107, while 46 remained unchanged.