Blue chips come under profit-taking pressure

Profit-taking in blue chips led the Greek stock market lower in thin trade yesterday, in line with other European bourses. Mid- and small-caps, especially those rumored to be involved in business deals, escaped the slump. The Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.55 percent lower at 4,818.12 points. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index lost 0.59 percent to close at 2,573.5 points, while the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index ended 0.05 percent and 0.70 percent higher respectively. Cosmote was the worst-hit blue chip, slumping 3.42 percent. Bank of Cyprus dropped 2.36 percent, Motor Oil shed 1.90 percent, Coca-Cola HBC ended 1.52 percent lower and National Bank lost 1.18 percent. ATEbank, Hellenic Petroleum and Hellenic Technodomiki also headed south. By contrast, Folli-Follie gained 1.68 percent, Public Power Corporation advanced 1.54 percent, Emporiki Bank ended 1.53 percent higher and Intralot added 1.18 percent. Banks Alpha and Piraeus and OPAP and OTE also ended in positive territory. Utilities lead sectoral indices with gains of 1.43 percent. Turnover slumped to -276.1 million, including -10.6 million in prearranged block trades. Analysts said the session showed that recycled liquidity is continuing to to be directed at relatively cheaps stocks or those of firms rumored to be involved in business deals.

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