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Sri Lanka stocks surge on consumer goods, banks, ahead of monetary policy decision

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks gained for the second day on Thursday, provisional data showed, as market participants awaited the central bank’s monetary policy decision on Friday.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) at the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.55 percent or 33.57 points up at 6,086.69.

The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 0.74 percent or 21.93 points up at 2,970.38.

The market is now expecting the central bank to loosen policy rates or cut the statuatory reserve ratio, after Senior Economic Advisor to the Finance Ministry Nivard Cabraal hinted at the possibility of a rate cut.

First Capital, a brokerage, said there is a 50 percent likelihood of the central bank cutting the policy rate on Friday.

Market turnover was 421.6 million rupees, while 99 stocks gained and 31 fell.

Soft drink and confectionary maker Ceylon Cold Stores closed 32.50 rupees up at 798 rupees a share, and the local unit of multinational Nestle closed 22.40 rupees up at 1,299 rupees a share, contributing to the ASPI gain.

The banking, finance and insurance sector index gained 0.61 percent.

Meanwhile, a negotiated trade (crossing) took place in Hatton Plantations with 29.07 million shares generating 241 million rupees in turnover.

As at September 2019, Sunshine Group subsidiary Estate Management Services (Pvt) Ltd held 29.07 million sharesin Hatton Plantation, after it sold the firm to Lotus Renewable Energy (Pvt) Ltd in May in a billion rupee deal. (Colombo/Dec26/2019)

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