Petrola outperforms on Athens bourse

Late profit-taking chipped gains by refiner Petrola and the broader Athens market yesterday, but improved sentiment kept the benchmark general index in positive territory. Petrola, which earlier soared over 9 percent after reporting a surprise 105-percent increase in first-quarter pretax profit, ended with gains of 5.97 percent. The Athens benchmark general index closed at 2,325.04 points, up 0.18 percent and off its intrasession high of 2,343.93. «There was selling pressure throughout the session and that’s reasonable to expect after the gains we’ve seen. What’s positive, though, is the fact that it’s being absorbed and there’s still buying interest around,» said analyst Elias Lazaris at Artion Securities. The bourse’s FTSE blue chip index rose 0.55 percent to 1,225.91 points. Mid-caps eased 0.04 percent and small-caps gained 0.13 percent. Turnover was 112.52 million euros on volume of 22.1 million shares. Losers beat winners 149 to 147, with 64 shares unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters) Olympic Airways is to withdraw all its Boeing 737-200 planes by the fall, in response to a letter by the European Commission to all airlines requesting immediate withdrawal for environmental reasons. The carrier said in a statement it is now using only three of its 11 such planes and has informed the Commission of its withdrawal plan.