ECONOMY

Stocks dip as buying runs out of steam

Greek stocks failed to hold onto mid-session gains yesterday, dipping 0.33 percent, as buying in banks ran out of steam. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 1,629.24 points, after reaching as high as 1,667 points in intra-session trade. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index eased 0.62 percent to 787.41 points. Banks gave up 0.86 percent, as National Bank fell 2.18 percent to 10.30 euros and Alpha advanced 1.65 percent to 6.90 euros. OTE telecom shed 1.43 percent to 6.90 euros, bringing losses in the last five sessions to nearly 15 percent. Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens bourse, advanced 0.57 percent to 5.33 euros after reporting a 69 percent rise in first-quarter net profits late on Monday to 9.8 million euros. Piraeus Securities described the earnings as being «a good set of figures» but added that new taxes are seen as hurting its profits. The brokerage reduced its target price in the stock to 7.10 euros from 9.50 euros previously. Mid-caps on the FTSE/ATHEX 40 rose 0.64 percent, while small-caps (FTSE/ATHEX 80) gained 0.65 percent. Turnover reached 113.4 million euros versus 158 million in the previous session.