ECONOMY

Banks outperform as index slips marginally

Shares closed with marginal losses yesterday on the back of European market weakness, with bottler Coca-Cola HBC hitting a four-year high and Alpha Bank in focus ahead of going ex-dividend today. «The pressure today is a result of profit-taking on the back of the European market correction,» said analyst Manos Mavrogenis of Laiki-Attalos Securities. «But banks’ performance remains positive and some investors are factoring in a possible rate cut by the ECB.» The general share index ended 0.06 percent lower at 2,375.57 points after two consecutive winning sessions, with Europe cautious ahead of a European Central Bank meeting on interest rates tomorrow. Bottler Coca-Cola HBC topping the blue chip league again with a 2.22 percent gain to 21.18 euros, a four-year high. «CCHBC has performed impressively so far, as investors expect a really strong year on the back of the Olympic Games, and this adds a positive shine,» Mavrogenis added. Blue chips gained just 0.09 percent while mid-caps and small-caps fell 0.59 percent and 0.40 percent respectively. Turnover rose to 128.47 million euros, with 28.6 million shares changing hands. Winners trailed losers 123 to 174, with 60 issues ending flat. (Reuters)