Sri Lanka stocks fall 0.12-pct, rupee extend losses

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks had a mild decline compared to a global sell down, falling 0.12 percent on Tuesday on foreign interest in John Keells, with the rupee weakening against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee closed at 154.60/70 on Tuesday against the US dollar in the spot market on strong demand for the greenback, weakening from Friday’s 154.30/40 close, dealers said.

The Colombo All Share index closed 7.92 points lower at 6,512.54. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 0.41 percent lower, down 15.31 points to 3,736.64.

"The market performed better than anticipated despite equity markets falling globally. The All Share decline was mild," Sumith Perera, Head of Portfolio at Ceylon Guardian said.

Hong Kong stocks fell 5.1 percent and the Shanghai composite index fell 3.4 percent after US stocks suffered the worst fall in six years on Monday.

"Despite a global sell off, foreign investors were net buyers in Colombo with interest in John Keells," Perera said.

Net foreign buying amounted to 122.2 million rupees, compared to net selling of 3.7 million on Friday. Net buying in John Keells was 109 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

John Keells (down 1.50 rupees to 158.50 rupees), Asiri Hospitals (down 90 cents to 24 rupees), Sampath Bank (down four rupees to 319 rupees) and HNB (down two rupees to 248 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index.

LOLC gained 5.20 rupees to close at 125.10 rupees and Sri Lanka Telecom closed one rupee higher at 29 rupees.

Market turnover was 848.3 million rupees, down 29 percent from 1.2 billion the previous close Friday.





"Janashakthi was the main contributor to the day’s turnover," Perera said.

Janashakthi Insurance closed 30 cents lower at 27.50 rupees.

Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, was 208.2 million rupees amounting to 24.5 percent of market turnover.

Three crossings in Lion Brewery totalled 82.8 million rupees, two crossing in HNB amounted to 62 million rupees, and one in Sampath Bank at 63.4 million rupees.

Lion Brewery gained 10 cents closing at 550.10 rupees. (COLOMBO, February 06, 2018)

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