Sharp drop as selling pressure keeps piling on

Stocks fell yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as investors liquidated positions in what turned out to be almost a repetition of Monday’s session, with a sharper downturn and heavier trade. The ASE general index closed at 2,563.70 points, a drop of 35.88 points or 1.38 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.41 percent to close at 1,410.71 points, while mid-caps and small-caps fell 0.68 percent and 1.10 percent, respectively. As on Monday, profit-taking hit telecommunications stocks especially hard, with OTE Telecom and mobile telephony subsidiary CosmOTE dropping 2.25 percent and 2.95 percent, respectively. Investors seem to anticipate a downturn in OTE’s finances during the third quarter. Among banks, Emporiki dropped 2.94 percent to close at 22.42 euros and Alpha declined 2.46 percent, to 23.04 euros. Eurobank dropped 1.16 percent, to 20.52 euros, and National 0.96 percent, to 22.78 euros. Hellenic Petroleum once again bucked the trend, along among blue chips, this time gaining 1.59 percent to close at 7.66 euros. Of 355 traded shares, 58 gained, 219 declined and 78 ended unchanged. Turnover rose sharply, to 171.34 million euros, including 30.59 million in prearranged trades.