Early gains are lost as investors sell blue chips

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), following three rising sessions during which the general index gained 2.14 percent. In yesterday’s session, after early gains, investors offloaded mostly blue chips, while buying interest focused on small-capitalization stocks, especially textile firms. The ASE general index closed at 2,934.90 points, a drop of 6.47 points or 0.22 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips shed 0.37 percent to close at 1,616.51 points. Mid-caps dropped 0.72 percent, while small-caps gained 0.31 percent. Some blue chips did buck the trend, notably cement company Titan, which gained 3.66 percent to close at 26.64 euros. Earlier, investment bank UBS had raised its target price to 30.70 euros, from 20.40 previously, while upgrading its recommendation to «buy» from «neutral.» Other gainers included mobile telecommunications firm CosmOTE (up 1.87 percent to 15.28 euros) and bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.85 percent to 18.70 euros). By contrast, OTE Telecom shed 1.49 percent to close at 13.22 euros, while Alpha Bank and National Bank lost 1.31 percent and 1.15 percent respectively. Out of 355 traded stocks, 139 gained, 159 declined and 57 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 218.25 million euros, including 12.65 million in prearranged trades.

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