ECONOMY

ASE sheds early gains on short-term profit-taking

Shares declined slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, after investors chose to cash in on short-term profits. During the session, the ASE general index momentarily broke the 2,900-point level for the first time since the summer of 2001. It closed at 2,887.86 points, a drop of 4.59 points or 0.16 percent. On a weekly basis, it gained 1.35 percent and has gained 3.65 percent this year, so far. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.17 percent to close at 1,614.07 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.04 percent and 1.20 percent respectively. Small-caps benefited from rumors involving the sale of publishing firm Pegasus, which belongs to the Bobolas group. Pegasus shares jumped 20 percent. The group’s two construction companies, Aktor and Hellenic Technodomiki, gained 9.40 percent and 9.30 percent respectively. Among blue chips, Emporiki and OTE closed at year highs, having gained 2.28 percent and 0.58 percent respectively. Intracom gained 1.38 percent, while OPAP and CosmOTE lost 2.25 percent and 1.83 percent respectively. Of the 359 traded shares, 182 gained, 119 declined and 58 ended unchanged. Turnover increased to 240.23 million euros, including 34.34 million in prearranged trades.