ECONOMY

Profit-taking sends ASE lower; trading stays thin

Shares closed lower on light profit-taking yesterday, with some selective buying interest seen, dealers said. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index dropped 0.40 percent to close at 2,543.54 points. Analysts said that staying above 2,540 points was a good sign, because the next level of resistance is at 2,475 points. The next few sessions will be affected by National Bank’s quarterly results and US macroeconomic indicators. The blue chip index fell 0.34 percent to 1,345.21, while the mid-cap index was 1.03 percent lower and the small-cap index declined 0.59 percent. Banks ended 0.11 percent down, with National Bank gaining 0.56 percent ahead of its first-quarter results published after the market’s close. Alpha Bank declined 1.04 percent to 26.56 euros. Telecoms group OTE lost 0.80 percent to 12.36 euros, while energy monopoly PPC finished 0.93 percent lower at 21.40 euros. Lottery operator OPAP fell 0.62 percent to 15.98 euros. Elsewhere, 4 percent of technology equipment company Plaisio was placed today with Greek and foreign institutional investors. Plaisio closed at 10.16 euros, up 1.80 percent. Some 228 stocks ended lower, while 74 advanced. Total volume declined over 20 percent to 140 million euros.