Sri Lanka shares close down 0.40-pct

Mar 21, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares sank again Monday, extending Friday’s losses in choppy trade, with a large private deal in Central Finance, which was among top gainers, boosting turnover, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 7,156.33, down 0.40 percent (28.61 points) while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.85 percent (56.82 points) to close at 6,634.78, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Turnover was 2.7 billion rupees.

Central Finance saw a crossing of 1.6 million shares at 800 rupees each, adding 1,280 million rupees to the day’s turnover.

The seller was believed to be Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.

The stock closed at 934 rupees, up 125 rupees or 5.6 percent, the fourth highest gainer in percentage terms.

Hayleys closed at 390 rupees, up eight with a crossing of 268,712 shares done at the same price.

John Keells Holdings closed at 260.20 rupees, down 4.30 rupees.

Stock prices have been choppy in recent days with the market coming off record highs amid concerns of overheating and curbs on broker credit for share trading.

NDB Stockbrokers said in a report the volatility and low turnover levels might continue this week as well although buying might come in with the financial year ending on March 31, and the need to “window dress” equity portfolios.