ECONOMY

Index falls below 3,000 points on profit-taking

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) as investors locked in gains from the previous five sessions, during which the market had gained 2.14 percent. The ASE general index closed at 2,994.18 points, a decline of 29.49 points or 0.98 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.05 percent to close at 1,671.94 points, while mid- and small-caps dropped 1.04 percent and 0.19 percent respectively. Several blue chips came under strong pressure and posted significant losses. These were Intracom (down 3.04 percent to 3.96 euros), OTE (2.72 percent to 14.30 euros), CosmOTE (1.68 percent to 14.06 euros), Alpha Bank (1.55 percent to 28 euros), Public Power Corporation (1.41 percent to 22.40 euros) and National Bank (1.02 percent to 27.10 euros). OPAP, EFG Eurobank and Hellenic Petroleum remained stable and some others posted gains. These included Duty Free Shops (up 3.28 percent to 13.84 euros), Emporiki Bank (1.06 percent to 22.92 euros) and metals group Viohalco (0.66 percent to 6.12 euros). Out of 331 traded stocks, 79 gained, 179 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover dropped to 151.55 million euros, including 14.5 million in prearranged trades.