Sri Lanka stocks becalmed

Oct 15, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed flat Friday, as price gains on selected high value and midcap shares offset selling by retail investors taking defensive positions, while index heavy John Keells Holdings continued to slide, brokers said.

The Colombo All Share Index closed up 0.07 percent (4.78 points) to 6,626.86 points, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks rose 0.14 percent (10.19 points) to 7,149.26, according to provisional Colombo Stock Exchange data.

Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees.

Retail investors continued to sell and stayed on the sidelines hoping for the market to recover soon, brokers said.

Ascot Holdings closed at 76.90 rupees, down 5.30 (6.45 percent), ACL Cables closed at 89.00 rupees, down 1.00 (1.11 percent), ACL Plastics closed at 155.00 rupees, down 6.00 (3.73 percent) and Citizens Development Business Finance closed at 48.50 rupees, down 7.60 (13.55 percent).

HNB Assurance, the insurance business unit of Hatton National Bank closed at 70.80 rupees, up 8.20 (10.4 percent), while Lankem Ceylon closed at 218.10 rupees, down 5.60 (2.5 percent) and United Motors closed at 240.00 rupees, down 6.50 (2.64 percent).

JKH, the largest capped stock at the Colombo Stock Exchange continued to slide, brokers said. It closed at 311.10 rupees, down 5.70 (1.8 percent).

Low volume trading on selected shares helped prevent the market from sliding further, brokers said.

Capital Development and Investment Company closed at 138.00 rupees, up 2.00 (1.47 percent) on 200 shares traded, while Ceylinco Insurance closed at 424.00 rupees, up 33.20 (8.5 percent) on 300 shares traded,

Colombo Investment Trust closed 195.00 rupees, up 21.00 (12 percent) on 1,000 shares traded, while Colombo Pharmacy Company, a unit of 2,198.40 rupees, up 358.20 (19.5 percent).

Haycarb, the activated carbon unit of Hayleys closed at 194.90 rupees, up 5.40 (2.85 percent) on 300 shares traded, while Kandy Hotels Company closed at 249.90 rupees, up 9.90 (4.12 percent) with 100 shares changing hands, brokers said.