Index sheds 0.93 pct as profit-taking continues

A sellers’ market for bank shares and OTE Telecom drove the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index lower for a second consecutive day yesterday after the gains of the previous eight sessions. The index shed 0.93 percent to close at 2,577.82 points. The banking index ended 2.36 percent down, with Piraeus and Eurobank worst hit. Agricultural Bank bucked the trend, rising 2.45 percent. OTE lost 2.38 percent. By contrast, other blue chips outperformed. Lottery firm OPAP advanced 3.05 percent to a year-high of 17.56 euros and Aluminium of Greece improved 4.47 percent after its announcement of a 168 percent rise in pretax profit in the nine months on Monday. The insurance index was the second-worst hit, losing 2.12 percent. Basic metals led with gains of 0.94 percent. The blue chip index dropped 1.42 percent and small-caps were down 0.14 percent but mid-caps just stayed afloat with gains of 0.06 percent. Turnover fell to 120.75 million euros, including 11.36 million of block trades of OTE shares. Decliners outnumbered advancers 168 to 121, with 79 remaining unchanged. The most marketable securities were OTE and banks National, Alpha and Eurobank.