Profit-taking sees index drop but spirits still high

Investors cashed in on some of Thursday’s hefty gains at the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday but analysts said the market maintained an overall positive sentiment, shown by a satisfactory level of turnover. The general index ended 0.73 percent lower at 2,961.63 points after coming just a notch away from 3,000 points during the session. A number of blue chips continued gaining modestly but the FTSE/ASE-20 index finished 0.64 percent lower. Banks National and Eurobank were up 0.73 and 0.48 percent higher respectively; Germanos advanced 1.32 percent, while Intracom and CosmOTE, both related to the latter’s announced plans to acquire Romania’s Cosmorom, gained 0.97 and 0.55 percent. In contrast, Coca-Cola HBC continued losses (2.30 percent down), Viohalco declined 3.28 percent and OTE fell 1.63 percent after Thursday’s extraordinary gains. The FTSE/ASE mid-cap and small-cap indices were 0.84 and 0.64 percent lower and only five of the 18 sectoral indices finished with gains, led by IT equipment-solutions. Decliners outnumbered winners 166 to 91, while 75 share prices remained unchanged on 332 traded. Turnover declined to 184.18 million euros, of which 79.3 million was accounted for by the four securities with the largest turnover: National Bank, OTE, Public Power Corporation and OPAP.