ECONOMY

Shares retreat 1.86 percent, mostly on weak banks

Blue chip profit-taking halted the Athens bourse’s five-session climb yesterday, dragging the market 1.86 percent lower against a backdrop of weak performances in European markets. A correction was expected following the market’s strong gains over the last few days. Official denials from banks involved in merger talk affected sentiment. Investors locked in gains, a broker said. Banks lost 2.88 percent while blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index fell 2.26 percent to 1,443.37 points. The benchmark general index ended at 2,605.43 points. To a small extent the drops on European bourses weighed on investors’ minds but (yesterday’s) slide has more to do with domestic factors, said analyst Gregory Karayiannopoulos at Bank of Cyprus Securities. Telecom stocks lost 1.06 percent with index heavyweight OTE Telecom falling 1.20 percent to 19.76 euros. Mid-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-40 index fell 1.55 percent and small-caps eased 0.85 percent. Turnover was 127.45 million euros on volume of 28.1 million shares. Losers beat winners 220 to 99, with 41 shares unchanged on 360 traded. In the last analysis, it is a blessing both for the immigrant and the host country if the immigrant’s potential is properly utilized. Immigrants are hard-working, they want to succeed. After all, that’s why they left their countries. Societies must understand that different people exist who have different things to offer.