Sri Lanka stocks fall amid rate hike talk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan stocks fell for the third straight day with daily turnover hitting a nearly five-week high amid foreign selling as talk of a central bank rate hike hit investor sentiment, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index lost 32.16 points or 0.45 percent to close at 7,078.64 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, lost 17.59 points (0.45 percent) to close at 3,869.55.

Daily market turnover hit a nearly five-week high of 1.9 billion rupees, passing the one billion mark for the second consecutive session supported by hefty crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals in Commercial Bank and Aitken Spence.

Brokers Lanka Securities said the central bank governor, Arjuna Mahendran’s indication of a rate hike if credit growth persists dampened investor sentiment.

Commercial Bank topped the turnover list with ten parcel trades where 3.6 million shares traded at a price range of 162.00-164.00.

There were other crossings in Aitken Spence of 5 million shares at 95.30 per share, 1.1 million John Keells Holdings at 173.50 per share and 0.7 million Tokyo Cement non-voting at 40.00 per share).

Sinhaputhra Finance preference share and voting share attracted heavy investor interest during the session, the brokers said.

Bartleet Religare Securities said foreign investors were net sellers generating a net foreign outflow of 630 million rupees.  (Colombo/September 28 2015)

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