Shares down slightly as investors lock PPC gains

Shares slipped slightly in light trade yesterday, with electricity utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) sliding on profit-taking after a Monday rally. «The market is on a consolidation course. Investors remain cautious and in waiting mode ahead of upcoming nine-month results,» said analyst Elias Lazaris of Artion Securities. The general share index fell 0.22 percent to 2,109.92 points. Analysts added that fiscal policy worries were also a factor in market weakness, as the EU Commission said earlier in the day it saw the Greek deficit widen in 2003 and 2004 at higher rates than what the government had penciled in its budget draft. «The weakness of the market is partly due to worries about next year’s fiscal policy, and how it is affected by the Olympic Games. The Commission’s forecasts definitely played a part in the worsening of the climate today,» Lazaris added. Among blue chips, PPC led losses, sliding 2.55 percent to 18.24 euros on what traders said was profit-taking after it hit a year-high on Monday. A total of 21.6 million shares changed hands. Decliners led advancers 173 to 113, with 75 unchanged against 361 traded. (Reuters)