Sri Lankan shares down for eighth day as interest rates rise

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan shares sank for the eighth straight session Wednesday as the continuous rise in interest rates affected investor sentiment but foreigners remained net buyers.

The All Share Price Index lost 19.86 points (0.28 percent) to close at 7,110.19 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, dropped 16.93 points (0.41 percent) to close at 4,070.74.

Turnover was 946 million rupees boosted by crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals of 1.2 million shares in John Keells Holdings at 205 rupees and 253,000 shares of National Development Bank at 261 rupees.

There were also deals in Distilleries Company and Commercial Bank.

First Capital Equities said the ASPI was dragged down by declining prices of some of the large cap illiquid stocks.

"Despite lower retail participation, foreigners and institutional investors continued to dominate market with today’s foreign participation being 48 percent," First Capital Equities said.

"Foreigners were net buyers to the market with net buying of 98 million rupees led by continued buying interest in John Keells Holdings."

Lanka Securities said that since mid-December Treasury Bill yields have increased about 1.0 – 1.5 percent, and "have been one of the reasons for the lackluster performance seen in Colombo bourse in the recent past."

Institutional activity led the turnover to a two-day high, it said.

Net foreign inflows were mainly seen in John Keells Holdings, Nations Trust Bank and Commercial Bank while net outflow was mainly seen in Distilleries.

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