Sri Lanka stocks down 0.26-pct, rupee steady
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks fell 0.26 percent on Wednesday on selling in John Keells Holdings, Ceylon Cold Stores and Commercial Bank while the rupee see-sawed before steadying against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee ended a volatile day at 156.05/15 rupees against the US dollar after gaining to 155.85 in early trading on remittances and export conversions, dealers said.
Import demand picked up later in the day to take the US dollar closer to the previous day’s closing of 156.10/15 rupees.
The Colombo All Share index closed 16.53 points lower at 6,445.97. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks fell 0.41 percent, down 14.9 points to 3,626.56.
John Keells Holdings (down 1.80 rupees to 158.50), Ceylon Cold Stores (down 16.80 rupees to 950) and Commercial Bank (down 60 cents to 134.50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index’s decline.
Market turnover was 632.2 million rupees, up 120 percent from the previous day.
Net foreign buying was 164.9 million rupees, compared to net selling of 27.8 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in Serendib Engineering was 192 million rupees, the share gaining 10 cents to 7.90 rupees.
Foreign selling was 52 million rupees in Tokyo Cement, down 1.50 rupees to 52.
Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, amounted to 358.3 million rupees and was nearly 57 percent of market turnover.
There were two crossings in Serendib Engineering (197 million rupees) and one each in Commercial Bank (124.4 million rupees) and John Keells Holdings (36.8 million rupees). (COLOMBO, March 21, 2018)