Stocks fail to hold on to early session gains

Stocks closed almost unchanged for the third session in a row yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as they failed to hold on to early gains. The ASE general index closed at 3,902.86 points, a decline of 2.17 points or 0.06 percent. The intra-session high was 3,953.12 points, a gain of 1.23 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips gained 0.13 percent to close at 2,134.55 points. Mid-caps gained 0.09 percent and small-caps declined 1.43 percent. The FTSE/Athex International gained 0.10 percent, closing at 5,512.55 points. Public utilities, chemicals and technology were the hardest-hit sectors, while health and foods and beverages gained. Among blue chips, the top gainers were cement maker Titan (up 1.37 percent to 38.38 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.34 percent to 25.74 euros), Piraeus Bank (0.98 percent to 20.60 euros) and EFG Eurobank (0.90 percent to 24.62 euros). Top losers were metals group Viohalco (down 2.53 percent to 7.72 euros), Public Power Corporation (2.21 percent to 18.60 euros) and refiner Motor Oil (1.63 percent to 20.50 euros). Of the 310 traded stocks, 60 gained, 194 declined and 56 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 272.62 million euros, including 20.70 million in prearranged shares.