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Sri Lanka stocks fall 0.83-pct on JKH, rating concerns

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka stocks closed down 0.83 percent Friday, dragged down by John Keells Holdings and sentiment weighed down on re-caliberation of domestic ratings by Fitch after an earlier sovereign downgrade, market analysts said.

Colombo’s main, All Share Price Index slipped 40.40 points to 4,846.76 mainly by capital goods sector.

The index took a nosedive minutes after opening the market at 4,900.35 to end at 4,845.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks fell 1.90 percent or 39.18 points to 2,018.52.

“We feel that the market took a negative turn today due to Fitch ratings changing Sri Lanka’s domestic rating scale after sovereign downgrade,” an analyst said.

Fitch had downgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating from ‘B’ to ‘B-‘. Sri Lanka companies that had global ratings were also downgraded.

Now the domestic (lka) rating will also be changed.

Market turnover was 1.54 billion rupees with 58 stocks making gains and 93 stocks falling.

Capital goods sector and banking sector contributed more than 90 percent to the turnover.

Capital goods sector contributed 709 million rupees while John keells contributed 651 million rupees to the market turnover.

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Second highest turnover came from the banking sector totally 617 million with Hatton National Bank generating 315 million rupees, Sampath Bank of Sri Lanka generating 123 million rupees plus a crossing amounting to 23 million rupees in the bank while Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka contributed 92 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings shares closed at 110.10 rupees a share, down by 5.70 rupees or 4.92 percent today, contributing heavily to the ASPI’s fall.

Ceylon Tobacco Company stocks down 10.90 rupees to 938.70 rupees a share while Commercial Bank of Ceylon stocks fell 1.80 rupees to 63.00 rupees a share.

(Colombo/May29/2020

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