ECONOMY

Market slides again, affected by Europe, oil

Shares ended lower on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday on the back of weak European sentiment, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom falling on a gloomy profits outlook and fund managers pulling out of small and mid-cap stocks. The general share index dropped 0.83 percent to 2,492.90 points. «Losses in European markets weighed on the index, with banks’ good first-quarter earnings growth already reflected in prices,» said fund manager Vassilis Antoniadis at Marfin Mutual Funds. Blue chips lost 0.83 percent while mid- and small-caps fell 0.76 and 0.97 percent respectively. «There were outflows from domestic growth funds as fund managers see little room to the upside in small- and medium-caps,» Antoniadis added. European markets were broadly softer as the Bank of England raised rates and crude oil prices hit fresh 13-year highs. OTE slid 1.98 percent to 11.90 euros. «Following OTE’s management change investors are now focusing on an expected profit drop in the first quarter,» Antoniadis said. Banks retreated, with National Bank down 1.37 percent to 24.50 euros and Eurobank falling 1.29 percent to 18.42 euros. Turnover dropped to 116.6 million euros, with 19.6 million shares changing hands. Losers outnumbered winners 193 to 88, with 71 shares ending flat. (Reuters)