Market pauses after six gaining sessions

Stocks declined slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) following six straight sessions of gains. According to analysts, the market is absorbing the recent gains; its short-term course will be determined by the announcement of third-quarter results by Piraeus Bank (tomorrow) and EFG Eurobank (Thursday). The ASE general index closed at 3,410.92 points, a decline of 4.16 points or 0.12 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips ended flat at 1,893.85, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.48 percent and 0.50 percent respectively. Among blue chips, significant gains were made by Emporiki Bank (up 1.31 percent to 24.82 euros), electronics retailer Germanos (1.24 percent to 13.10 euros), mobile telecommunications service provider CosmOTE (1.11 percent to 18.24 euros) and betting agency OPAP (0.98 percent to 24.64 euros). By contrast, losses were sustained by metals group Viohalco (down 2.36 percent to 5.78 euros), Duty Free Shops (2.03 percent to 14.50 euros), EFG Eurobank (1.21 percent to 26.18 euros) and telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (1.11 percent to 5.34 euros). Of 336 traded stocks, 119 gained, 152 declined and 65 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 191.16 million euros, including 25.5 million in prearranged trades.

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