Sri Lanka stocks down again

Feb 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares were dragged down again Tuesday by losses in index heavy stocks with earnings that companies have begun to report for the December quarter being mostly poor as anticipated, brokers said.

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The All Share Price Index eased down 0.13 percent (2.30 points) to end at 1,801.59 while the more liquid Milanka fell 0.73 percent (14.22 points) to close at 1,935.68.

Turnover was 92 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings continued to fall after reporting sharply lower earnings for the December quarter last week. The stock fell 4.62 percent or three rupees to 62 rupees.

Commercial Bank fell 3.23 percent or three rupees to 90 rupees as it continued to be dogged by uncertainty over payments due to it on oil hedges for the government petroleum refiner that have been suspended by the central bank.

Lanka Cement continued its rise, ending up 1.92 percent or 25 cents at 13.25, in anticipation its sales could rise on a revival in construction activity expected with an early end to the ethnic war.