Stocks dip, test 1,600-pt support level

Greek stocks slipped yesterday on concerns about the impact the country’s recession will have on corporate profit figures, analysts said. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index dropped 1.43 percent to 1,634.61 points after dipping to an intra-session low of 1,605 points. Greece’s economy is expected to contract by 4 percent this year ahead of a negative gross domestic product of 2.6 percent in 2011, according to Finance Ministry estimates. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index shed 1.59 percent to 792.34 points. OTE telecom continued its slide, dropping 2.78 percent to 7 euros. Cement company Titan plunged 5 percent to 16 euros before reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter rise in net profits to 24.8 million euros. Banks shed 1.19 percent, led by a 2.68 percent retreat in National Bank to 10.53 euros. Power company Public Power Corporation (PPC), scheduled to report first-quarter figures tomorrow, jumped 2.81 percent to 12.82 euros. According to a Reuters poll of analysts, PPC is expected to report a 3.3 percent rise in first-quarter profit, as falling production costs more than compensate for a drop in demand. Turnover reached 154.8 million euros versus 113 million euros.

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