COLOMBO, Jan 30 Sri Lankan shares fell on
Thursday, led by blue chips and large caps and due to foreign
selling, following the regional trend a day after the U.S.
Federal Reserve further trimmed its monetary stimulus.
The Fed announced a further $10 billion reduction in its
monthly bond buying as it stuck to plans to wind down its
extraordinary stimulus despite the recent turmoil across many
The main stock index lost 0.4 percent, or 24.88
points, to 6,227.26. The fall was led by a 1.93 percent loss in
market heavyweight Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and a
3.16 percent fall in Cargills (Ceylon) Plc.
Shares in John Keells Holdings lost 0.29 percent to
end at 240 rupees, a day after it posted a 17 percent
year-on-year gain in its December-quarter net profit.
Foreign investors were net sellers of 216.5 million rupees
($1.66 million) worth of shares on Thursday, but bourse has
witnessed net inflow of 823.5 million rupees so far this year.
They bought 22.88 billion rupees of stocks last year.
Stockbrokers said local retail and institutional investors
were active in markets after interest rates in treasury bills
eased at a weekly auction on Wednesday to multi-year lows,
making fixed-income assets unattractive.
The index has been in an overbought region since Jan. 7,
Thomson Reuters data shows. It has risen 5.32 percent so far
this year, following a 4.8 percent gain in 2013, after having
fallen in the previous two years.
The day's turnover was 808 million rupees, less than last
year's daily average of about 828.4 million rupees.
($1 = 130.7300 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)