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Sri Lanka stock trading halted after 7.5-pct plunge on new Covid-19 cluster

ECONOMYNEXT – Trading in Sri Lanka stocks were halted for the second time as the S&P SL 20 Index of liquid stocks plunged over 7.5 percent, after an initial fall of 5.0 percent with a new Coronavirus cluster being found over the weekend.

Officials said on Monday about 70 cases have been confirmed after contacts of an apparel factory worker were traced and tested. More tests are being conducted.

The Colombo Stock Exchange halted trading shortly after 1115 hours amid heavy selling pressure. After trading resumed with a 30 minute break, the S&P 20 index extended its fall to a 7.8 percent fall, triggering a second circuit breaker.

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Sri Lanka’s stocks have risen amid excess liquidity in the banking system from unprecedented volumes of money printed by the central bank despite running a soft-pegged exchange rate regime.

Acme Printing fell 12.9 percent, Alliance Finance fell 11.46 percent, Alumex fell 10.53 percent, Amana Bank fell 11.43 percent, Ambeon Capital fell 10.17 percent, Anilana Hotels fell 14.2 percent, Bairaha Farms fell 10.8 percent and Bogawantalawa tea fell 12.9 percent.

Index Heavy Johh Keells Holdings fell 4.3 percent, Commercial Bank fell 5.1 percent, Hatton National Bank fell 5.2 percent, Hatton National Bank fell 5.2 percent and Melstacorp fell 6.07 percent.