Stocks dip on profit taking

Greek stocks retreated yesterday as investors chipped away at recent gains in bank stocks, which rallied higher this week. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index gave up 0.81 percent to 1,664.50 points, failing to hold the 1,688 support level. Banks shed 1.38 percent. Eurobank EFG eased 0.86 percent to 5.75 euros and Alpha lost 1.50 percent to end at 5.90 euros. Both shares jumped more than 7 percent on Tuesday. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index fell 1.11 percent to 814.43 points. OTE telecom dropped 2.50 percent to 5.85 euros and Bank of Cyprus slipped 2.85 percent to 4.09 euros. Aegean Airlines, which posted a loss for the second quarter of the year after the market closed yesterday, added 0.85 percent to 2.38 euros. The airlines’ net loss was 32.6 million euros compared with profits of 13.4 million euros a year earlier due to a drop in revenues and a special government tax charge. Oil refinery Hellenic Petroleum rose 1.29 percent to 6.28 euros. Proton Research said in a note it expects the company to report earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 134.7 million euros next week, down from 158.8 million in the same period a year earlier, due to unfavorable oil price movements. Turnover reached 57 million euros versus 79 million previously.