Shares follow Europe lower while OPAP shines

Stocks closed lower yesterday, with traders blaming the lack of news and weak European markets for the fall. Gaming group OPAP bucked the trend, gaining 1.08 percent. «Today’s losses were expected, with the euro at 1.22 versus the dollar, and all European markets down since the market’s open,» said analyst Costas Bouropoulos at Kyklos Securities. The benchmark general share index closed down 0.39 percent at 2,178.74 points, faring better than European markets, which were at one-week lows after Friday’s US job data raised questions about the health of the US economy. Gaming group OPAP climbed to 11.18 euros after CSFB initiated coverage with an «outperform» rating and a 13-euro price target for the shares, citing its monopoly position and highly cash-generative business. Index heavyweight OTE fell 0.38 percent to 10.44 euros with traders saying its new proposed pricing scheme for the fixed telephony business was widely expected and failed to shake things up in a sleepy market. Panafon shares closed level at 6.18 euros. Turnover fell to 121.53 million euros with 24.2 million shares changing hands. Decliners led gainers 245 to 53 with 55 stocks ending unchanged. (Reuters)