COLOMBO, July 23 Sri Lankan stocks slipped on
Wednesday from their 34-month closing high hit the previous day
as investors booked profits in diversified and banking shares,
The main stock index ended 0.18 percent, or 12.39
points weaker at 6,783.98, slipping from their highest close
since Sept. 20, 2011, hit on Tuesday. It has gained 6.35 percent
so far this month.
The index had surged in the previous session as local
investors moved funds from fixed income to riskier assets in
view of the low interest rates.
"Today's fall is led by Keells, but the market is bullish.
We are expecting earnings to be good and the economy to have
slightly picked up which will give a bit of a boost for earnings
also," said a Dimantha Mathew, Manager Research at First Capital
Equities (pvt) Ltd.
Turnover was 1.03 billion rupees ($7.91 million), in line
with this year's daily average of about 1.09 billion rupees.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 242.8 million rupees
worth of shares on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net
foreign inflow in shares to 10.32 billion rupees.
Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc
fell 1.88 percent to 239.90 rupees, while biggest listed lender
Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc fell 0.28 percent to
Lower interest rates have prompted local investors to buy
shares and move away from unattractive fixed assets, analysts
Yields on treasury bills edged down further at a weekly
auction on Wednesday.
The index has been in the overbought region since July 3. It
has risen 14.73 percent so far this year.
Foreigners have been buying risky assets because they see
value in them, analysts said.
($1 = 130.2300 Sri Lankan Rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by