Oil and euro prices fuel profit-taking run

Greek share prices on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) came under strong profit-taking pressure yesterday after last week’s gains, fueled by a negative climate in European markets due to still rising oil prices and a new advance by the euro against the US dollar. The general index, which had gained 2.38 percent in the previous four sessions, shed 1.30 percent, closing at 2,434.92 points. Bank stocks, recently the favorites of foreign institutional investors, recorded significant losses, with the exception of EFG Eurobank, which was up 0.39 percent. Alpha and National ended 3.46 percent and 3.18 percent lower respectively. Other blue chips managed to hold their ground; Hellenic Petroleum gained 1.36 percent and OTE Telecom 0.18 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index closed 1.47 percent lower, mid-caps shed 1.35 percent and small-caps 0.95 percent. The sectors worst affected were insurance, basic metals, publishing, banks and holdings. Real estate, refineries, construction and foodstuffs closed with gains. Turnover remained at last week’s average levels at 126.95 million euros, of which 32.95 million was block trades. Decliners outnumbered advancers 249 to 45, with 56 unchanged on 351 traded.