ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka stocks declined 0.35 percent on Friday as foreign activity picked up in John Keells, Ceylon Cold Stores, Central Finance, Melstacorp and Teejay Lanka while the rupee edged lower against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee edged down 0.09 percent in the spot market to close at 153.93/154.00 against the US dollar from 153.82/85 the previous close, on banks buying greenbacks and foreigners selling small quantities in government securities, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index declined 22.61 points to 6,473.62 and the the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks declined 0.71 percent down 26.76 points to 3,767.20.
Market turnover amounted to 968.3 million rupees, up 82 percent from the previous day.
"Foreign buying was 76 percent of market turnover," Shiyam Subaulla, Senior Vice President at Asia Securities said. "Foreign investors were seen on both the buying and selling side of John Keells and Ceylon Cold Stores."
John Keells closed 4.40 rupees lower at 158.10 rupees and Ceylon Cold Stores closed unchanged at 950 rupees.
"There was net foreign buying on Central Finance and Melstacorp and net selling in Teejay Lanka," Subaulla said.
Central Finance closed unchanged at 100 rupees, while Teejay Lanka gained 30 cents closing at 36 rupees and Melstacorp closed 30 cents lower at 60.30 rupees.
John Keells, Asian Hotels and Properties (down 4.60 rupees to 51.20 rupees), HNB (down two rupees to 255 rupees and Commercial Bank (down 70 cents to 141.50 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index.
Net foreign buying amounted to 77.3 million rupees, up from 24 million rupees the previous day. Crossings, or off market negotiated trades, totaled 437.6 million rupees accounting for 45 percent of market turnover.
JKH accounted for four crossings totaling 383 million rupees, with one crossing each in Teejay Lanka (31.3 million rupees) and Melstacorp (22.8 million rupees). (COLOMBO, January 12, 2018)