ECONOMY

Index down again as profit-taking continues

Shares ended weaker yesterday as profit-taking continued for a second day, with investors cashing in on gains since the start of the year. «We’re going through a correction of the uptrend that started at the beginning of the year, but even if the index were to drop by 150 points, it will not make a difference to the market’s momentum,» said fund manager Vassilis Antoniadis at Marfin Mutual Funds. The general share index ended 1.32 percent lower at 2,436.81 points. Banks underperformed the broader market with a near 2 percent drop. But General Bank jumped 8.04 percent, with investors cheering its growth prospects under its future majority shareholder Societe Generale. «The market is pricing in Societe Generale’s plans to expand General Bank’s operations in the future,» said analyst Constantinos Sinanidis at Egnatia Securities. Shares of Hellenic Petroleum fell 3.24 percent to 7.76 euros on what traders said was short-term nervousness at the resignation of its chief executive late on Monday. Blue chips and mid-caps both lost around 1.4 percent, while small-caps ended 0.98 percent lower. Turnover fell to 171.55 million euros, with 31.1 million shares changing hands. Advancers trailed decliners 68 to 243, with 45 unchanged. (Reuters)