Sri Lanka stocks end 0.88-pct lower amid foreign selling in JKH

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.88 percent lower on Thursday amidst foreign selling John Keells Holdings, Nestle Lanka and Sampath Bank with gilt yields seen easing in the secondary government bonds market, brokers and dealers.

Colombo’s All Share index closed 0.88 percent lower, down 52.57 points to 5,922.18, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks fell a sharp 1.51 percent, down 46.59 points to 3,030.77.

Market turnover was 547.8 million rupees as 98 stocks declined during the day against 25 that gained. Equities have declined 7 percent so far this year on negative sentiments caused by political uncertainty.

John Keells Holdings (down 4.50 rupees to 129 rupees), Nestle Lanka (down 47.70 rupees to 1,652.90 rupees) and Melstacorp (down 1.40 rupees to 50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Sampath Bank closed 5.50 rupees lower at 244.80 rupees and HNB was down 3 rupees to 214 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 137 million rupees, compared to selling of 207.8 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 82 million rupees, followed 30 million rupees in Nestle Lanka and 23 million rupees in Sampath Bank, according to Asia Securities.

There were no crossings, or off-market negotiated trade.

Gilt yields were seen easing in the secondary market for government bonds.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.50/60 percent, easing from the previous close of 10.55/79 percent.





A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.70/95 percent, the two-way quotes narrowing from the previous closing of 10.75/95 percent. (COLOMBO 20, September 2018)

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