Profit-taking leads to across-the-board drop

Stocks fell yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), following four sessions during which the index gained 4.23 percent and set a new year-high twice. The session was marked by liquidation of positions, both in blue chips and peripheral stocks. The ASE general index closed at 2,654.81 points, a decline of 17.46 points or 0.65 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index declined 0.73 percent to close at 1,459.71 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.16 percent and 0.71 percent respectively. On a monthly basis, the general index gained 6.65 percent. All major banks declined as investors chose to cash in on previous gains. Alpha Bank suffered the greatest losses, dropping 1.25 percent to close at 23.64 euros. Some blue chips bucked the tend, gaining ground. They included Hellenic Technodomiki (up 1.21 percent to 3.34 euros), CosmOTE (0.74 percent to 13.62 euros), PPC (0.29 percent to 20.48 euros) and Hellenic Petroleum (0.25 percent, to 7.88 euros). Out of 360 traded stocks, 97 gained, 195 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 271.27 million euros, including 127.24 million in prearranged trades. The latter included the transfer of National and Alpha shares by Hellenic Exchanges, the ASE’s parent company, worth a total of 91.59 million euros.