ECONOMY

Profit-taking, fears over oil prices hit shares

Shares fell below the 2,500 mark yesterday in the tailcoats of European markets as investors booked short-term gains in Eurobank and CosmOTE after their recent advance ahead of first-quarter results. «We saw selling pressure in small- and mid-caps today. I see the market consolidating at current levels next week, trading between 2,400 to 2,550 points,» said analyst Nikos Akkizidis at Axon Securities. The general share index closed 1.34 percent down at 2,467.03 points, tracking weak sentiment across Europe as investors worried about record-high oil prices. Eurobank, which reported a sharp jump in first-quarter group net profit on Thursday, lost 2.83 percent to 17.84 euros. Traders said investors had already priced in the good results and decided to take some cash off the table. Alpha Bank added 0.53 percent to 26.74 euros. The shares will trade ex-bonus on May 17. The bank’s two-for-10 bonus share distribution will take place on May 21. National Bank ended 0.94 percent up. Blue chips fell 1.17 percent, mid-caps lost 0.51 percent and small-caps retreated 0.76 percent. Turnover fell to 142.29 million euros, with 18.16 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 214 to 76. (Reuters)