Sri Lanka stocks plunge amid foreign selling

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 1.14 percent lower on Tuesday, dragged down by index heavy Ceylon Tobacco Company, John Keells Holdings and LOLC Holdings, provisional data showed.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) at the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 66.37 points down at 5,730.93.

The ASPI reached a daily high of 5,800.15 in the first hour of trading and fell for the rest of the day.

The S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks closed 1.44 percent or 39.91 points down at 2,731.39.

The market has now extended a retreat for the third day.

After global markets fell on Monday on fresh fears of the spread of the coronavirus globally, Asian markets put in a mixed performance.

Tokyo closed 3.3 percent lower, while Shanghai closed 0.6 percent lower, Bombay down 0.2 percent and Hong Kong gained 0.3 percent. European stocks showed gains at open on Tuesday.

In Colombo, market turnover was 591.7 million rupees with 30 stocks gaining and 119 falling. There was heavy foreign investor participation with 136.8 million in purchases and 233.8 million rupees in sales.

Index-heavy Ceylon Tobacco Company closed 20 rupees down at 1,120.00 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI’s fall.

Sri Lanka’s largest listed firm John Keells Holdings (JKH) closed 2.70 rupees lower at 149.90 rupees a share and financial conglomerate LOLC Holdings fell 6 rupees to 139.40 rupees a share, also pushing the ASPI down.

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There was a 123.2 million rupee negotiated trade (crossing) in JKH’s supermarket and soft drink and ice-cream making unit Ceylon Cold Stores at a par 790 rupees a share.

A 22.7 million rupee crossing was seen in Sampath Bank at 163 rupees a share, the level at which the counter closed trading, 2.50 rupees down.

A 61.6 million rupee crossing was seen in Aitken Spence at 41 rupees a share, and the stock closed 50 cents down at 40.50 rupees a share.

The food, beverages and tobacco industry index, which was the most active, fell 1.05 percent.

Construction stocks fell 2.42 percent.
(Colombo/Feb 24/2020)

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