Index below 2,600 pts as ASE follows Europe

Stocks fell yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as investors took a cue from falling European markets and liquidated positions. The ASE general index closed at 2,599.58 points, a drop of 23.55 points or 0.90 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.92 percent to close at 1,430.93 points, while mid-caps and small-caps fell 1.45 percent and 1.50 percent, respectively. Profit-taking hit telecommunications stocks especially, with OTE Telecom and mobile telephony subsidiary CosmOTE dropping 2.35 percent and 2.45 percent, respectively. Among banks, Emporiki dropped 3.43 percent to close at 23.10 euros and Alpha declined 1.99 percent, to 23.62 euros. National ended unchanged, at 23 euros. By contrast, Hellenic Petroleum gained 2.72 percent, closing at 7.54 euros, while OPAP continued its streak with a gain of 0.21 percent, setting a year-high of 18.80 euros. Other blue chips that gained were bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.32 percent) and cement company Titan (0.30 percent). Of 355 traded shares, 48 gained, 257 declined and 51 ended unchanged. Turnover was 124.01 million euros, including 7.9 million in prearranged trades.