Stocks end flat; more corporate results ahead

Shares ended almost flat yesterday on low volumes as the market consolidated ahead of more corporate earnings announcements this week, traders said. «Not much interest in the market; it was more of a consolidation session in line with the rest of Europe,» a trader said. The benchmark general share index closed 0.08 percent down at 2,193.17 points, against an early afternoon European slide led by technology stocks. Analyst Manos Hadjidakis at Magnatrust Securities said fund managers stayed out of the market on the day, only tweaking their portfolios. «The next gamble comes with Coca-Cola’s nine-month results,» he added. Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, due to announce results this morning, closed 0.34 percent lower at 17.58 euros. Gaming operator OPAP rose 0.55 percent to 10.90 euros, with the market reacting to forecast-beating results it announced last week, a trader said. In the banking sector, investor interest focused on heavyweight National Bank, which rose 0.75 percent to 18.86 euros, as well as on Alpha Bank, which gained 0.4 percent after results last week came in above expectations. Turnover fell to 96.52 million euros, with 21.1 million shares changing hands. Decliners outweighed advancers 194 to 111, with 61 stocks closing unchanged. (Reuters)