Market takes a breather after recent steep rise

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as some investors locked in short-term gains, especially in blue chips, while others chased medium- and small-capitalization stocks. The ASE general index closed at 3,225.94 points, a decline of 26.19 points or 0.81 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.90 percent to close at 1,816.73 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.44 percent and 0.61 percent respectively. National Bank of Greece gained 0.65 percent to close at 30.78 euros, a new 52-week high. Similar highs were set by Aluminium of Greece, Piraeus Port Authority and the Athens water and sewage company EYDAP. A few blue chips closed with significant changes, including Duty Free Shops (up 1.12 percent to 14.44 euros) and casino and hotel operator Hyatt (1.24 percent to 9.82 euros). By contrast, Alpha Bank lost 2.13 percent, Coca-Cola HBC 2.56 percent, Titan 1.71 percent, and OTE and OPAP 1.18 percent each. Of 340 traded stocks, 129 gained, 140 declined and 71 ended unchanged. Turnover jumped to a huge 1.522 billion euros, due to the more than 52 million OPAP shares – a 16.44 percent stake in the company – sold by the state. OPAP alone accounted for 1.193 billion euros in turnover.

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