ECONOMY

Blue chips are hit as investors lock in gains

Stocks lost ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), despite a slightly positive day in other European markets, as investors chose to lock in short-term profits. The ASE general index closed at 3,482.08 points, a drop of 27.12 points or 0.77 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.91 percent to close at 1,951.86 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.17 percent and 0.27 percent respectively. Among the 18 sectoral indices, only five posted gains: publishing and printing, wholesale commerce, information technology, foods and beverages and real estate. There was significant downward pressure on telecom stocks (CosmOTE 2.10 percent off to 17.68 euros; OTE 1.45 percent to 17.62 euros) and banks (EFG Eurobank 1.40 percent to 28.20 euros; Alpha Bank 1.14 percent to 25.94 euros, and National Bank 0.91 percent to 34.68 euros). By contrast, gains were posted by refiner Motor Oil (up 0.93 percent to 17.38 euros), construction group Hellenic Technodomiki (0.47 percent to 4.28 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.35 percent to 23 euros), betting company OPAP (0.23 percent to 25.96 euros) and electricity provider PPC (0.21 percent to 18.72 euros). Of 327 traded stocks, 88 gained, 166 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 171.15 million euros, including 32.23 million in prearranged trades.