Index sapped 0.76 pct by more profit-taking

Shares closed lower, losing their initial gains due to profit-taking, dealers said. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed 0.47 percent lower at 2,411.63 points. The blue chip index ended 0.76 percent lower at 1,279.06 points, while the mid-cap index declined 0.22 percent and the small-cap index retreated 0.57 percent. Banks finished 1.43 percent lower, with National Bank of Greece down 1.20 percent to 24.74 euros, Alpha Bank 1.32 percent lower to 20.96 euros and EFG Eurobank losing 1.86 percent to 17.98 euros. Telecoms ended 0.14 percent down, with OTE falling 0.75 percent to 10.52 euros and CosmOTE up 0.60 percent to 13.42 euros. Elsewhere, energy monopoly PPC finished up 0.78 percent to 20.62 euros, while lottery operator OPAP declined 1.29 percent to 15.30 euros. The highest increase was recorded by Centric Multimedia (15.08 percent). It was trailed by construction firm Euclides (13.43 percent) and Nikos Galis (11.96 percent). The greatest losses were sustained by Hippotour (11.43 percent), closely followed by the preferred shares of VIS (10.93 percent). Decliners led advancers 179 to 98. Total turnover reached 109 million euros, of which 5.76 percent concerned prearranged sales of share blocks.