ECONOMY

Athens tracks Europe’s weak bourses, falls 1.18 pct

Across-the-board losses dragged Greek equities 1.18 percent lower yesterday as weak performances on major European bourses encouraged investors to cash in recent gains after the market’s 5.7-percent climb last week. After last week’s rally it is logical to expect profit-taking…weak performances abroad made investors nervous, said Nikos Galoussis, analyst at Kappa Securities. The Athens bourse benchmark general index fell 1.18 percent to 2,199.70 points. Blue chips shed 1.18 percent to 1,228.34 points. Banks lost 1.40 percent while index heavyweight National Bank eased 0.34 percent to 23.56 euros. Market participants said announcements from Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou on the 2002 draft budget were in line with expectations and had little impact on trading. Telecom stocks eased 0.90 percent. Small- and mid-caps ended lower, with the FTSE/ASE index of small-caps losing 0.57 percent and mid-caps ending down 1.45 percent, after wavering between negative and positive territory early in the session. Trading volume was at 114.75 million euros on 24.9 million shares traded. (Reuters) Three weeks after the terrorist attack, the ruins are still smoking, making the eyes itch and the lungs ache.