Blue chips lose most as investors cash in gains

Greek stocks contrasted with positive sentiment in other European bourses yesterday, with blue chips bearing the brunt of profit-taking after the recent rally. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 34.93 points, or 1.06 percent, to end at 3,271.78. Nevertheless, weekly gains amounted to 0.60 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 1.15 percent, the mid-cap FTSE/ASE 40 rose 0.17 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ASE 80 lost 0.25 percent. The chief blue chip decliners were OTE (-3.00 percent), Titan (-3.52 percent), Piraeus Bank (-2.48 percent), CosmOTE (-2.85 percent) and Coca-Cola HBC (-2.35 percent). Eurobank and Alpha Bank also ended 1.85 and 1.12 percent lower, respectively. Those bucking the trend included OPAP, which gained 2.29 percent to a new year-high, Technical Olympic (1.85 percent) and Intracom (0.93 percent). Among sectoral indices, only three bucked the declining trend: food and beverages, which ended 2.44 percent higher; printing and publishing, which added 2.34 percent; and investment, up 0.32 percent. Turnover edged up to 232.67 million euros, of which 106.7 million was accounted for by the four stocks with the largest turnover, OPAP, OTE, and the banks National and Alpha.