Sri Lankan shares end lower on profit-taking; investors pick diversified stocks

October, 9, 2017

Reuters - Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Monday, slipping from a nine-week closing high hit in the previous session, as investors booked profits in banking and diversified stocks, but continued foreign buying helped boost sentiment, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.2 percent weaker at 6,515.84, edging down from its highest close since Aug. 4 hit on Friday. The bourse rose 1.4 percent last week, recording its fourth straight weekly gain.

Foreign investors bought a net 225.2 million rupees ($1.47 million) worth of equities on Monday extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 20.1 billion rupees worth of shares.

Turnover stood at 1 billion rupees ($6.53 million), more than this year’s daily average of 923.9 million rupees.

“Market is very positive with continued foreign buying, though the index ended negative,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“The index came down mainly because of the profit-taking in Commercial Bank shares,” he added.

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.2 percent down, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc closed 0.3 percent lower and Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc finished 3.3 percent down.