Market takes a breather after five rising sessions

Stocks ended marginally lower yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with investors selling bank stocks but chasing selectively blue chips and medium-capitalization stocks. The ASE general index closed at 3,306.71 points, a drop of 0.85 points or 0.03 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.28 percent to close at 1,845.47 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 1.13 percent and 0.57 percent respectively. Some stocks reached 52-week highs, including metals group Mytilineos, the Piraeus Port Authority, the Athens Water Company (EYDAP) and gaming systems company Intralot. Among blue chips, cement company Titan also registered a 52-week high, with its shares rising 1.05 percent to close at 29 euros. Besides Titan, significant blue chip gainers included mobile telecommunications company CosmOTE (up 1.90 percent to 16.12 euros) and betting company OPAP (1.16 percent to 26.24 euros). By contrast, most big banks lost ground, including National (down 1.18 percent to 30.24 euros), Emporiki (1.04 percent to 26.52 euros) and Alpha (1.03 percent to 23.14 euros). Of 330 traded stocks, 130 gained, 135 declined and 65 ended unchanged. Turnover increased to 231.78 million euros, including 38 million in prearranged trade.

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