Absence of news keeps investors sidelined

Shares extended losses for the second straight session yesterday in thin trade, tracking concerns across Europe about aggressive rises in US interest rates, while thin news flow also added to the cautious tone. «Trading volume was very low today, with investors in a wait-and-see mode in the absence of domestic corporate and macro-economic news. It’s difficult to see any short-term direction,» said analyst Manos Hadjidakis at Magna Trust. The benchmark general share index ended 0.64 percent lower at 2,384.77 points, in line with the downtrend in European markets. Heavyweight OTE was a rare bright spot, adding 1.15 percent to 10.52 euros on late buying. Traders said the operator is expected to be in focus this week ahead of its June 17 annual shareholders meeting. Among the decliners, Piraeus Bank shed 1.70 percent to 9.26 euros, with investors uninspired by the bank’s plans to launch a 200 to 300-million-euro floating-rate note in the next three to four weeks. Blue chips closed 0.52 percent down, mid-caps lost 0.95 percent, while small-caps retreated 1.31 percent. Turnover fell to 62.67 million euros, with 14.47 million shares changing hands. Losers outnumbered winners 229 to 60. (Reuters)