Blue chips fail to keep their momentum going

Investors went profit-taking yesterday, largely locking short-term gains and edging stock indices south. Small caps fared better. The Athens Stock Exchange general index shed 9.57 points, or 0.26 percent, to close at 3,717.54. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 was down 0.17 percent, the FTSE/Athex Mid 40 fell 0.60 percent and the FTSE/Athex Small Cap 80 just stayed afloat with gains of 0.06 percent. Most sectoral indices ended lower. Insurance shed most at 1.98 percent. In contrast, the two listed oil companies, Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil, led blue chip winners, gaining 2.12 percent and 1.96 percent respectively, and sending the petroleum index 2.03 percent higher. Hyatt, Public Power Corporation and gaming firm OPAP all added more than 1 percent. National Bank struggled to capture 30 euros but failed. Piraeus Bank, Duty Free Shops and Folli Follie also gained, while Viohalco, ATEbank, Emporiki and Eurobank were unchanged. In contrast, Cosmote slumped 2.87 percent, Alpha Bank shed 1.76 percent after announcing first half results, Coca Cola HBC was down 1.63 percent and Intracom lost 1.23 percent. Hellenic Technodomiki, Germanos, OTE and Titan also declined. Turnover totaled 255.35 million euros.