COLOMBO Aug 15 Sri Lankan stocks fell on Friday
to end an eight-session winning streak as investors took
profits in shares of large-caps, while foreigners also sold in
an overbought market.
The main stock index finished lower 0.42 percent, or
29.24 points, at 6,943.85, edging down from its highest close in
nearly three years hit on Thursday.
The index has gained 17.4 percent so far this year.
"It's a bit of profit-taking in blue-chips and a correction,
since the market is struggling to pass the 7,000 mark we will
see selling pressure for a while," said Dimantha Mathew,
manager, Research, at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
The bourse saw net foreign outflows of 893.8 million rupees
($6.9 million) on Friday, but foreign investors have been net
buyers of 11.78 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Turnover, boosted by block deals in John Keells Holdings Plc
, hit 2.94 billion rupees, more than double this year's
daily average of 1.13 billion rupees.
Conglomerate John Keells, which accounted for 59.8 percent
of the day's turnover and saw 4.4 million shares being sold by
foreigners, fell 0.38 percent to 238 rupees a share.
Earlier in the day, the central bank held key policy rates
at multi-year lows for the seventh straight month.
Union Bank of Colombo Plc fell 9.87 percent to 21
rupees a day after the bank said it had agreed to sell a 70
percent stake to a subsidiary of TPG Capital Management LP for
Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc, which led the fall in the
overall index, fell 0.91 percent to 1,184.90 rupees, while
Carson Cumberbatch Plc fell 1.04 percent to 455
(1 US dollar = 130.1000 Sri Lankan rupee)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez)