General index retreats from year-highs

Stocks eased 0.77 percent yesterday, tracking negative sentiments in major European markets, with a surge by banks putting the brake on the bourse’s fall. The benchmark general index closed at 2,292.80 points, down from an intraday high of 2,326.58 points. «We saw profit-taking in many of the sectors, which is logical after the recent rally. Banks soared today with investors waiting for more news of share sales,» said analyst Michalis Kavantzas of Devletoglou Securities. Among the movers, Alpha Bank rose 0.61 percent to 19.90 euros and bellwether National Bank gained 1.93 percent to 21.12 euros. Telecoms came under pressure, with OTE tumbling 2.61 percent to 11.18 euros. Blue chips fell 0.27 percent, mid-caps were down 0.60 percent and small-caps lost 1.87 percent. Turnover amounted to 195.31 million euros, with 44.92 million shares changing hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 249 to 89, with 28 unchanged against 366 traded. (Reuters)