Sri Lankan shares up 0.2-pct

June 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks lost early gains to close flat Tuesday as the plantations sector retreated from the previous day’s highs, subdued from yesterday’s gains due to profit taking, brokers said.

Agalawatte Plantations closed at 24.75 rupees, up 1.00, while Madulsima Plantations closed at 15.25 rupees, up 50 cents.

Maskeliya Plantations closed at 20.00 rupees, up 50 cents.

Brokers said 1.76 million shares of Ceylinco Seylan Developments changed hands mostly at 9.00 rupees.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 5.25 rupees, down 25 cents.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed flat at 80.00 rupees.

Foreign investors bought 216 million rupees worth shares and sold 97.0 million resulting in net buying of 119.0 million rupees, brokers said.

Eagle Insurance closed at 132.00 rupees, down 7.00.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.90/95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 0.28 percent (6.29 points) to end at 2,292.41 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.04 percent (1.00 points) to close at 2,558.06, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 673.0 million rupees.

“Heavy activity on John Keells Holdings (JKH) continued and was the key driver of the index,” said Shivantha Meepage, a research analyst at Acuity Stockbrokers.

“There was relatively high activity in the plantation sector but profit taking by retailers later on the reduced early Morning gains.”

Index heavy JKH closed at 123.25 rupees, up 3.25.

Brokers said 133 million rupees worth of Ceylon Theaters shares changed hands at 43 rupees.

Ceylon Theaters closed 43.75 rupees, down 25 cents.

Malwatte Valley Plantations closed 31.25 rupees, down 1.75, while Udapussellawa Plantations closed at 25.00 rupees, down 2.00.