ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks retreated for the third day, closing 0.64 points lower with selling in banking stocks, provisional data showed.
Colombo’s All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 38.08 points lower at 5,897.26, after gaining to an intra-day high of 5,950.32 in the first hour of trading and shedding points throughout the rest of the day.
The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 2.22 percent or 66.35 points down at 2,917.10.
Market turnover was 682.73 million rupees with 49 stocks rising and 106 stocks falling.
Banking stocks closed 1.82 percent down, leading the fall on Thursday.
Sri Lanka’s banking system is grappling with high non-performing loans, which worsened during monetary instability in 2018.
Banks had led Sri Lanka’s stocks to a 6-month high on Monday, before the ASPI started its retreat.
Commercial Bank closed 3.30 rupees down at 106.50 rupees a share on Thursday, contributing most to the ASPI’s fall.
The largest listed conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed 1 rupee down at 3.30 rupees a share.
Hatton National Bank closed 5 rupees down at 179 rupees a share, while Ceylinco Insurance ended 90.90 rupees down at 1,859.20 rupees a share and Sampath Bank closed 2.90 rupees down at 167 rupees a share, also pushing the ASPI down.
Retail activity centred on Hayleys Fabric with 1,120 trades generating 112.9 million rupees in turnover. The firm closed 90 cents up at 13.10 rupees a share. Hayleys Fabric had posted a strong June quarter, with net profits growing to 227 million rupees from 16 million rupees a year earlier.