Recent blue chip stars fade with profit-taking

Greek stocks moved south, in line with other European bourses, in much thinner trade yesterday and within a narrow band of price fluctuations. Three blue chips, banks National and Alpha along with OTE telecom accounted for about 40 percent of turnover. The Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed down 0.47 percent at 4,761.08 points, after fluctuating between 4,775 and 4,753. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index shed 0.45 percent to close at 2.546.50 points. The FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 ended 0.42 percent lower and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index nudged 0.02 percent higher. Analysts said the correction was controlled profit-taking, particularly in blue chips that had gained considerably in the previous few days. Hellenic Petroleum shed the most, 3.85 percent, while Folli-Follie slumped 3.26 percent, Viohalco ended 2.48 percent leaner, Hellenic Technodomiki lost 2.00 percent, National Bank fell 1.37 percent and Coca-Cola HBC declined 1.27 percent. By contrast, Intralot rebounded with 2.22 percent, Cosmote gained 1.74 percent and Alpha Bank added 1.20 percent. Korres Natural Products soared 94.72 percent on its trading debut, closing at -14.02. Technology led five of the 17 sectoral indices higher with a 5.52 percent surge. Turnover fell to 346.27 million euros, including -32.21 million in prearranged block trades.

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