Sri Lanka stock trading halted as market plunges 5-pct at open

ECONOMYNEXT – Trading in Sri Lanka’s stocks were halted as the market plunged 5 percent soon after opening, following turmoil in global markets, and uncertainty at home, brokers said.

The S & P Index SL 20 Index fell over 5 percent, triggering a circuit breaker for 30 minutes amid thin volumes.

There was broad based selling in index heavy stocks and others, brokers said.

The Coronavirus epidemic is expected to hit export firms as well as other companies which depend on imports from China.

There is also a degree of panic selling by retailers, brokers said.

The S P Index was down 5.5 percent an hour after opening, when with after initially recovering.

John Keells Holdings was down 7.10 rupees to 137 in the first hour of trading. Ceylon Cold Stores was down 105 rupees 670 rupees.

Ceylon Tobacco Company fell 28.50 rupees to 1,020, Commercial Bank was down 2.70 to 77 rupees, HNB was down 5.90 to 130 rupees.

Stocks also fell steeply last week. Foreign investors have been selling out of Sri Lanka stocks for some time.

Many Sri Lankan stocks are trading at decade lows.

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Global oil prices have also fallen, which generally benefits, consumer demand and companies that use energy. (Colombo/Mar10/2020)

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