Sri Lankan shares end lower on selling in blue chips, banks

September, 23, 2017

Reuters - Sri Lankan shares fell for a second straight session on Friday, as investors sold diversified and banking shares in thin trade that saw turnover slumping to a near four-week low.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.38 percent weaker at 6,427.26, off its highest close since Aug. 14 hit on Wednesday. It however gained 0.4 percent on week, a second straight weekly gain.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 1.5 percent, while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.4 percent weaker.

Cargills (Ceylon) Plc dropped 3.5 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc ended 0.5 percent lower.

“It was a very dull day. Investors are adopting a wait-and-see approach ahead of the policy rate decision (by the central bank),” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO of Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to keep key rates steady on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, to support a stuttering economy even as inflation accelerates amid strong credit growth.

Turnover stood at 217.9 million rupees ($1.43 million), compared with this year’s daily average of around 920 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 31.1 million rupees (about $203,667) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 17.7 billion rupees.