ECONOMY

Short-term profiteering drags market lower

Stocks dropped yesterday for the second session in a row on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investors continued locking in short-term gains. Banks led the way down, with small-capitalization firms largely resisting the trend. The session was also marked by a dip in turnover, reflecting the pre-holiday mood. The ASE general index closed at 3,277.73 points, a decline of 31.89 points or 0.96 percent. On a weekly basis the index gained just 0.10 points; it has gained 17.64 percent this year. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.21 percent to close at 1,831.15 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.58 percent and 0.02 percent respectively. The banks under most pressure were EFG Eurobank (down 3.84 percent to 26.52 euros), National Bank (2.35 percent to 30.72 euros) and Piraeus Bank (1.32 percent to 16.50 euros). Just two blue chips made significant gains: they were bottler Coca-Cola HBC (up 1.20 percent to 23.56 euros) and metals group Viohalco (0.69 percent to 5.82 euros). Of 324 traded stocks, 91 gained, 166 declined and 67 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 162.81 million euros, including 17.17 million in prearranged trade. The ASE will be closed on Monday for the public holiday.