Profit-taking trims early gains, ASE rises 0.32 pct

Profit-taking in small- and mid-cap shares trimmed the Athens bourse’s early session gains yesterday, leaving the benchmark general index 0.32 percent higher after the sector’s New Year rally. Refineries outperformed as investors speculated on a positive end to Hellenic Petroleum’s search for a strategic alliance. «Investors locked in gains in small- and mid-cap shares. Players do not look like they anticipate a sustainable upward trend in the market right now,» said Petros Tegopoulos, analyst at Axon Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,635.75 points after reaching an intrasession high of 2,655.07 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.26 percent to 1,441.71 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps lost 0.05 percent and small-caps shed 0.60 percent. Hellenic Petroleum, whose search for a strategic alliance is expected to be completed by Easter, gained 3.13 percent to 7.26 euros. Peer Petrola Hellas jumped 7.59 percent to 5.10 euros. Telecoms gained 1.63 percent and OTE Telecom advanced 1.97 percent to 18.68 euros. Turnover was 131.08 million euros. (Reuters) The show might not have been to everyone’s taste, but on New Year’s Eve, 80 percent of viewers were tuned into Antenna – a figure more reminiscent of opinion polls in Latin American dictatorships.

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