Sri Lanka shares edge higher amid profit-taking

Apr 20, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stock market edged higher but saw some profit-taking Tuesday after hitting new highs the day before and trading was lower with interest on hotels and banks, brokers said. There were a few private, off-the-floor deals in banking and hotel stocks which pushed up the day’s trading turnover.

John Keells Hotels was the most actively traded stock, closing at 21.75, down 25 cents.
Some 5.8 million shares were traded

Hotel Services (Ceylon) was also actively traded, closing at 29.75 rupees, up 1.75.

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The All Share Price Index closed at 4,022.37, up 0.17 percent (7.01 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.08 percent (3.69 points) to close at 4,579.79 but price losers outnumbered price gainers.

Turnover was 1.86 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“There was a bit of profit-taking on specific stocks,” said Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

“The market opened with sentiment positive today but activity was lower compared with yesterday. There was interest on hotels and banks.”

Perera said that in terms of forecast earnings prices of most stocks look attractive.

But he said there might be a slight correction in the prices of those stocks that had risen sharply in a short time.