Sri Lankan stocks edge down, foreign selling in banks

EconomyNext – Sri Lankan stocks closed lower Friday with selling pressure seen on the last day of the month with foreign investors selling banking sector shares, brokers said.

The benchmark All Share Price Index lost 16.2 points (0.2 percent) to close at 7,301.3 while S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, lost 6.4 points (0.2 percent) to close at 4,115.9.

Turnover was 933 million rupees almost a quarter of which came from crossings or off-the-floor negotiated deals in John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank.

"With today being the last day of the month some selling pressure was noted while the illiquid ‘big caps’ led a further decline of the index," First Capital Equities said. "Foreign activities continued to remained on the high side despite registering a net outflow."

The brokers said 800,000 Commercial Bank shares changed hands in a deal at 178.50 rupees a share and two crossings of 400,000 JKH at 204.5 and 204.7 rupees.

Lanka Securities said foreign investors continued to be net sellers for the second consecutive day with a net outflow of 163 million rupees and foreign participation at 25 percent.

"Net foreign outflows were seen in counters such as Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank and John Keells Holdings Warrant 0023 while net foreign inflow was mainly seen in  Laugfs Gas Holdings."


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