Profit-locking in blue chips causes market slip

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, as investors, mostly foreign institutionals, sought to lock in profits in blue chips at the end of the third quarter. The ASE compound share index closed at 3,931.05 points, a drop of 21.91 points or 0.55 percent. On a weekly basis, it declined 0.08 percent; it has risen 7.29 percent since the start of the year. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips declined 0.83 percent to close at 2,143.57 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.58 percent and 0.67 percent, respectively. The FTSE/Athex International declined 0.51 percent, closing at 5,570.47 points. Among blue chips, the biggest gainers were Public Power Corporation (1.60 percent to 19 euros), jewelry and accessories maker and retailer Folli-Follie (1.33 percent to 22.90 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (0.67 percent to 27.18 euros) and Piraeus Bank. Hardest hit were betting company OPAP (2.43 percent to 26.50 euros), telecoms firm OTE (2.32 percent to 19.34 euros), refiner Motor Oil (2.15 percent to 20 euros), technology holding company Intracom (1.56 percent) and Emporiki Bank (1.34 percent to 22.04 euros). Turnover reached 226.02 million euros, including 15.40 million in prearranged trades.