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Sri Lanka stocks plunge at open on Coronavirus

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks fell 2.0 Thursday in the first half-hour of trading with broad-based selling on Coronavirus fears a day after the first domestically transmitted patient was found and the government suspended on arrival visa for tourists.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Index was down 1.99 percent 25 minutes after opening, following regional and global markets down and wiping out gains made a day earlier.

The S & P Index of liquid shares was down 3.53 percent or 84.91 points to 2320.89.

“Global markets are falling and investors are nervous,” a broker said.

Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission had met brokers on Wednesday to seek proposals n how to boost the market.

Many stocks are trading at decade lows. Sri Lanka’s tourism stocks, which were just recovering from Easter Sunday attacks have been further hit by the virus.

Some export manufacturing firms are also hit by supply chain problem as well as demand concerns from the West

President Donald Trump has ordered all travel from Europe to be halted.

John Keells Holdings was down 5.0 rupees at 131.00, Hatton National Bank was down 5.70 at 127.80 rupees, Commercial Bank was down 3.30 at 74.70 rupees.

Global oil prices are down, which is expected to reduce costs and also boost demand if retail prices are cut.

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But petroleum linked stocks were also down.

Chevron Lubricants was down 1.70 rupees at 63.30 rupees and Lanka IOC was down 1.00 rupees at 16.20 rupees.

Teejay Lanka, a fabric maker was down 1.80 rupees at 29.00 rupees, Haycarb was down 1.80 rupees at 174.50 rupees.

The Coronavirus is receding in China, where it started and officials have said that businesses will be allowed to open shortly even in Hubei, however, the virus is still spreading in Europe and the US. (Colombo/Mar12/2020)

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