Profit taking in blue chips leads index lower

Shares ended lower yesterday, out of kilter with an uptrend across Europe, but oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) outperformed on news a parliamentary committee had ratified a new chief executive for the company. «We saw a correction today, which is logical after yesterday’s gains. The downtrend could be a cause for concern if it continues and if there is no fresh inflow of funds,» said analyst Vassilis Vlastarakis at Contalexis Financial Services. The benchmark general share index closed 0.52 percent lower at 2,337.03 points, weighed down by the banking index which shed 1.22 percent. Construction gained 1.62 percent. Blue chips fell 0.73 percent but mid-caps and small-caps rose 0.21 percent and 0.32 percent respectively. Standouts: ELPE was the biggest blue-chip gainer, advancing 1.75 percent to 6.98 euros. A company source told Reuters the board of directors will meet today to confirm the appointment of Panayiotis Kavoulakos as CEO; jewellery retailer Folli-Follie rose 1.75 percent to 26.68 euros, within a whisker of a year high of 27 euros. Turnover fell to 90.12 million euros, with 15.2 million shares changing hands. Losers outnumbered winners 157 to 129, with 71 shares unchanged. (Reuters)