Stocks end flat, lose early gains

Greek stocks failed to hold on to mid-session gains, as weak small- and mid-caps pushed the market into negative territory. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index inched 0.04 percent lower to 1,450.82 points after touching an intra-session high of 1,464 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index climbed 0.24 percent to 685.00 points. Banks firmed 0.73 percent. National Bank added 1.07 percent to 6.63 euros and Eurobank EFG, which is expected to unveil third-quarter figures on Friday afternoon, jumped 2.06 percent to 3.97 euros. Oil refinery Hellenic Petroleum outperformed, rising 4.30 percent to 5.58 euros. Fourlis, the Greek franchisee for furniture maker IKEA, fell 2.01 percent to 5.85 euros after its third-quarter net profits were cut in half to 4.7 million euros. Piraeus Securities reduced its price target on Fourlis to 6.40 euros from 7 euros previously, citing negative earnings momentum and challenges connected to the recession. The mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index gave up 1.16 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ATHEX 80 index retreated 0.72 percent. Turnover reached 109.1 million euros versus 113 million in the previous session.