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Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.3 percent on banks

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.32 percent higher on Friday easing intra-day highs while banks continued to make gains, brokers said.

Colombo’s main, All Share Price Index (ASPI) climbed 15.09 points to 4,799.89.

The S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks however came down by 0.13 percent or 2.66 points to 2,034.38.

Lions Brewery Ceylon gained 47.70 rupees to trade at 498.10 rupees a share, contributing most to ASPI’s gain.

John Keells Holdings was up 1.40 rupees, closing at 104.10 rupees a share and Commercial Leasing and Finance stock advanced 20 cents to 2.90 rupees a share

Market turnover for the three consecutive days went above the 1 billion mark, to end on Friday at 2 billion rupees with 69 stocks making gains and 96 stocks falling.

Index heavy banking counters including Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank, and Sampath Bank were traded.

The banking sector contributed 1.3 billion rupees or roughly 65 percent to the market today. Throughout the week, the banks continued to contribute above 50 percent to the market, according to analysts.

Hatton National Bank (HNB) generated 650 million rupees and the Commercial Bank of Ceylon generated 307 million rupees, today.

There were also five crossings in three counters, with JKH having a total of 2 million shares trading at 103.10 rupees in three crossings and HNB voting crossing 0.25 million shares at 107 rupees.

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Sampath Bank, 0.166 million shares were traded at 125 rupees a share in a single crossing.

Overall, the market except on Wednesday continued to climb almost reaching pre-COIVD-19 levels when it dropped to almost 4300 levels.

The analyst said the market continued to gain on a bullish note and some stocks moving strongly, there could be profit-taking in the following week.

The total number of trades in the market broke the previous day’s trade record to reach 12,454, the highest number of trades in this month so far.
(Colombo/May22/2020)

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