Sri Lanka stocks reverse four-day rout

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.43 percent up on Thursday, ending a four-day retreat on the back of the local unit of Nestle, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) closed 24.25 points up at 5,667.87, while the S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks closed 0.17 percent or 4.44 points up at 2,675.41.

First Capital, a brokerage, said trading was volatile , with the market surging to a high of 5,694 in the morning, before plunging 53 points to 5,651 and recovering minutes before closing.

The ASPI had fallen 1.52 percent on Tuesday, and 3.5 percent since February 19.

Globally, stocks continued to fall amid fears of the coronavirus spreading further.

Tokyo closed 2.1 percent down, while London fell 3.5 percent, and Frankfurt 3.2 percent. US stocks had taken a battering by mid-afternoon as well.

Shanghai and Hong Kong meanwhile closed marginally higher.

Market turnover at CSE reached 486.5 million rupees on Thursday, while 71 stocks gained and 52 fell.

The local unit of food multinational Nestle contributed most to the ASPI gain, last trading 49.90 rupees up at 1,299.90.

Foreigners were net sellers, withdrawing 35.95 million rupees from the market amid low participation.

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Foreigners sold stakes in the largest listed firm John Keells Holdings and the second largest listed lender Hatton National Bank, while buying Teejay Lanka, a weft-knit fabric maker, First Capital said.

A negotiated trade (crossing) was seen on Sanasa Development Bank, with 1 million shares changing hands at 55 rupees each.

Trades in Teejay Lanka, Sunshine Holdings and Sanasa Development Bank contributed 41 percent to turnover, First Capital said. (Colombo/Feb28/2020)

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