Market fails to hold on to early gains

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), in line with European markets, as investors sold their shares to safeguard short-term profits. The ASE compound share index closed at 3,915.69 points, a decline of 37.66 points or 0.95 percent. Earlier in the session, the index had risen to 3,970 points, a gain of 0.43 percent, before portfolio liquidations kicked in. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips declined 0.88 percent to close at 2,131.18 points, while the Mid-Cap 40 and the Small-Cap 80 declined 1.06 percent and 2.12 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index declined 0.92 percent, closing at 5,511.27 points. Among blue chips, only bottler Coca-Cola HBC gained (0.47 percent to 25.62 euros) and OTE remained steady at 18.62 euros. The biggest losers were metals group Viohalco (down 3.61 percent to 8 euros), refiner Motor Oil (2.07 percent to 21.80 euros), ATEbank (1.90 percent to 4.12 euros), National Bank (1.39 percent to 32.56 euros) and Public Power Corporation (1.37 percent to 18.78 euros). Out of 308 traded shares, 48 gained, 213 declined and 47 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 221.81 million euros, with Motor Oil and OTE accounting for about 40 percent of the total.