Across-the-board profit-taking erases early gains

Weak European markets prompted across-the-board profit-taking on the Athens bourse yesterday leaving the benchmark general index off 0.48 percent after earlier recording gains of up to 1 percent. «We followed international markets as a result of a lack of local news which could have driven the market,» said Ilias Athanassiou, analyst at Selas Investments. He said investors locked in gains as they sensed the market’s upside was limited. The Athens benchmark general index ended at 2,436.25 points after reaching an intrasession high of 2,470.07 points. The FTSE/ASE index of blue chips fell 0.52 percent to 1,314.21 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps fell 0.67 percent and small-caps dropped 0.50 percent. Telecoms fell 0.55 percent and banks slipped 0.52 percent. «Investor reluctance concerning the broader market is also weighing on stocks which reported good 2001 results,» said another broker. Total turnover was 104.81 million euros on volume of 19.3 million shares. Losers beat winners 202 to 104 with 51 unchanged on 357 traded.(Reuters) HR alliance

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