ECONOMY

Late profit-taking in blue chips hurts index

Shares declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) after three rising sessions, as investors locked in profits toward the end of the session. The ASE general index closed at 2,334.71 points, a loss of 7.81 points or 0.33 percent. It had risen to as high as 2,348.97 points in mid-session. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips dropped 0.26 percent to close at 1,249.99 points. Mid-caps managed to register marginal gains (0.05 percent) but small-caps continued their decline, losing 0.63 percent. The bank index ended slightly up (0.14 percent), thanks to Alpha, Emporiki and National, which rose 0.50 percent, 0.34 percent and 0.22 percent respectively. OTE Telecom lost 0.19 percent, to close at 10.76 euros, while mobile telecommunications subsidiary CosmOTE retreated 0.89 percent to close at 13.40 euros. Of the 353 traded stocks, 118 gained, 156 declined and 79 ended unchanged. The top individual gainers were Space Hellas (14.10 percent), Fieratex (11.46 percent) and Fitco (8.13 percent). Top losers were the preferred shares of Alisida and VIS (11.76 percent and 11.68 percent, respectively) followed by Nikos Gallis (11.39 percent) and Tsoukaridis (11.19 percent). Turnover dropped to 83.22 million euros, including 4.08 million in prearranged trade.