Sri Lanka shares down 0.4-pct on selling in banking stocks, rupee flat

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.40 percent lower on Tuesday on selling in banking stocks like Commercial Bank, HNB and Sampath Bank while the rupee closed flat against the US dollar, dealers and brokers said.

The rupee closed at 153.95/154 rupees against the greenback on thin volumes of foreign selling in government securities, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share index closed 26.01 points lower at 6,447.61. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid shares closed 20.04 points lower, down 0.53 percent at 3,747.16.

"The market declined on slight corrections to index-heavy banking stocks," says Dihan Dedigama at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Market turnover was 884.6 million rupees, down 8.64 percent from the previous close, weighed down by Commercial Bank closing 1.50 rupees at 140 rupees, HNB down three rupees to 252 rupees, Sri Lanka Telecom down 60 cents to 28.10 rupees and Sampath Bank closing 4.60 rupees lower at 320.70 rupees.

Net foreign buying was 539.25 million rupees, up six-fold from 77.4 million rupees the previous close. There was foreign buying of 534 million rupees in HNB and selling of 19.8 million in Teejay Lanka, according to Asia Securities.

Off market negotiated trades, or crossings, totaled 691.5 million rupees, accounting for 78 percent of market turnover.

HNB featured in three crossings totaling 535.8 million rupees. There was one crossing each in Central Finance (30 million rupees) and Ceylon Cold Stores (125.7 million rupees). Central Finance closed flat at 950 rupees.
(COLOMBO, January 16, 2018)

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