Early gains nearly lost through profit-taking

Stocks failed to hold on to significant early gains yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), settling instead for more modest gains, as investors preferred to lock in short-term gains. The session reflected the volatility shown in other European markets. The ASE composite share price index closed at 3,568.35 points, a gain of 16.75 points or 0.47 percent. Earlier in the session, it had risen as much as 2.87 percent. On a weekly basis, it gained 1.10 percent, thanks mostly to Thursday’s session, limiting overall losses since the start of the year to 2.61 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips gained 0.75 percent to close at 1,964.75 points. Mid-caps gained 0.46 percent and small-caps declined 2.27 percent. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 0.63 percent, to 5,069.82 points. Among blue chips, top gainers were bottler Coca-Cola HBC (up 4.61 percent to 23.60 euros), refiner Hellenic Petroleum (2.92 percent to 9.88 euros) and casino and hotel operator Hyatt (2.30 percent to 11 euros). Top losers were technology holding company Intracom (down 3.96 percent to 4.36 euros) and ATEbank (2.79 percent to 3.48 euros). Of 318 traded shares, 84 gained, 195 declined and 39 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 401.72 million euros, including 32.33 million in prearranged trades.

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