ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks gained 0.44 percent at market close on Tuesday, ending a four-day rally, while closing 2019 on a high, provisional data showed.
The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 26.79 points down at 6,129.21, with banking and finance stocks dragging down the market.
The ASPI fell throughout the day to reach a daily-low of 6,123 in the last half hour of trading, before recovering six points.
Meanwhile, the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 16.60 points down at 2,941.67.
Turnover on Tuesday was 965.4 million rupees, while 61 stocks gained and 93 fell.
Over half of the turnover was on banking, finance and insurance stocks, with the sector index closed 1.33 percent down.
There was a 105.8 million rupee negotiated trade (crossing) in Hatton National Bank at 174 rupees a share, and the stock closed 172.20 rupees a share, 2.50 rupees down from the open.
Commercial Leasing and Finance closed 40 cents down at 3.40 rupees a share, Sampath Bank closed 5.90 rupees down at 162.40 rupees a share and LOLC Development Finance closed 8.90 rupees down at 38.80 rupees a share, contributing to the ASPI fall.
LOLC Holdings closed 1.50 rupees down at 177.50 rupees a share, ending its gain made during December after it announced the sale of a Cambodian subsidary for 603 million US dollars.
LOLC Holdings had briefly gained during the morning, surpassing the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka as the firm with the fifth highest market capitalization.
The ASPI ended a year on a high, after opening at 6,052.37.
In early 2019, stocks had fallen on sluggish economic growth and low money market liquidity and in April the market fell to a seven-year low following the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
The recovery began in mid-May with the Employees’ Provident Fund bringing confidence to the market with purchases after seven years, the International Monetary Fund extending its balance of payments support program, and the central bank placing caps on bank deposits, which made investors switch to stocks.
Liquidity injections to the money market also helped stocks gain, followed by the presidential elections, after which the government cut taxes in a bid to boost consumption and growth. (Colombo/Dec31/2019)