Investors dump stocks in rush to lock in gains

Stocks declined significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) in a session marked by aggressive selling by investors eager to cash in on short-term gains. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,129.41 points, a decline of 73.44 points or 1.75 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips declined 1.88 percent to close at 2,290.61 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 2.64 percent and 3.50 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index fell 1.91 percent, closing at 5,801.91 points. Only three blue chips ended with gains: refiner Motor Oil (up 2.95 percent to 22.30 euros), betting company OPAP (1.32 percent to 32.30 euros) and mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (0.55 percent to 18.12 euros). By contrast, big losses were sustained by metals group Viohalco (down 5.17 percent to 8.80 euros), Emporiki Bank (4.63 percent to 28.40 euros), ATEbank (4.35 percent to 5.72 euros), National Bank (3.61 percent to 41.66 euros), EFG Eurobank (2.99 percent to 32.40 euros), cement producer Titan (2.45 percent to 39.02 euros) and Alpha Bank (2.44 percent to 31.18 euros). Of 321 traded shares, 33 gained, 255 declined and 33 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 521.02 million euros, including 76.5 million in prearranged trades.