Profit-taking brings rising streak to an end

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investors chose to lock in profits, thus putting an end to a five-session rise during which the market gained 2.71 percent. The ASE general index closed at 3,512.02 points, a decline of 22.90 points or 0.65 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.75 percent to close at 1,950.93 points. Mid-caps dropped 0.61 percent and small-caps gained 0.43 percent. One of the exceptions to the general trend was betting company OPAP, which set yet another year-high of 27.90 euros after gaining 1.53 percent. OPAP has benefited from a Morgan Stanley report, published on Wednesday, which raised its target price to 32 euros from 27 previously. Other blue chips making gains were metals group Viohalco (up 2.98 percent to 6.22 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.59 percent to 23.82 euros), jeweler Folli-Follie (0.56 percent to 21.50 euros), Duty Free Shops (0.55 percent to 14.64 euros) and casino and hotel operator Hyatt (0.41 percent, to 9.86 euros). By contrast, Titan, Emporiki Bank, PPC, National Bank, Germanos and OTE fell significantly. Of 327 traded stocks, 120 gained, 132 declined and 75 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 203.11 million euros, including 38.69 million in prearranged trades.