Soft blue chips, weak US start erase early gains

Soft blue chips outweighed mild gains in small- and mid-cap stocks yesterday, landing the Athens bourse 0.25 percent lower after a weak start on Wall Street weighed on investors’ minds. Heavyweight National Bank bucked the trend, rising 0.26 percent to 23 euros after Schroder Salomon Smith Barney upgraded it to outperform from neutral and lowered its share-price target to 27.3 euros from 32.3 previously. The Athens benchmark general index eased 0.25 percent to 2,158.04 points after spending most of the session in positive territory, underperforming its European counterparts. Turnover was 127.5 million euros on 23.8 million shares traded. There is no fresh inflow of funds as investors do not look like they are in a hurry to re-enter the market after they lock in short-term gains, said Petros Tegopoulos, analyst at Axon securities. Telecom stocks eased 0.35 percent. Despite National, the banking subindex eased 0.61 percent. Blue chips shed 0.44 percent to 1,221.06 points while mid-cap stocks gained 0.75 percent. (Reuters) How we should be proud of our Greek heritage. How we spent years in Greek schools learning the language and culture.

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