ECONOMY

ASE slips 1.12 pct as Hellenic Petroleum tumbles

Equities shed 1.12 percent yesterday, reversing earlier gains, with investors taking profits from Tuesday’s bounce and remaining unconvinced about the sustainability of a rebound. Refinery group Hellenic Petroleum tumbled over 4 percent after announcing a 67-percent drop in 2001 group earnings. «Hellenic Petroleum’s results were lower than expected. We do not yet have full disclosure of the earnings but tighter refinery margins look to have had a bigger impact on profits than we imagined,» said an energy sector analyst. Refinery group Hellenic Petroleum fell 4.10 percent to 5.62 euros after announcing a 67.8-percent year-on-year drop in consolidated pretax profit to 97.7 million euros. The Athens bourse benchmark general index ended at 2,379.95 points after reaching an intrasession high of 2,427.23 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 1.14 percent to 1,296.41 points and banks shed 1.13 percent. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps lost 1.64 percent and small-caps shed 1.72 percent. Total turnover was 99.17 million euros on volume of 16.9 million shares. (Reuters)