Sri Lankan stock prices, turnover slump

May 21, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks weakened further Wednesday with turnover falling below 100 million rupees and brokers expecting the market to be sluggish in the rest of the trading week shortened by a religious holiday. The Colombo Stock Exchange All Share Index ended down 0.38 percent (9.83 points) at 2,586.81 points while the more liquid Milanka lost 0.68 percent (21.31 points) to close at 3,134.87. Turnover fell to 85 million rupees.

“The market is sluggish at the moment, and we don’t expect more trade during the week,” Arjuna Dassanayake of DFCC Stockbrokers told LBO.

The market had weakened in the run-up to the Buddhist Vesak holiday last week with investors staying away partly owing to fears company earnings would fall given high inflation and interest rates.

Dialog Telekom ended 25 cents lower at 14.50 with 101,400 shares traded while Sri Lanka Telecom was flat at 48.75 with 61,600 shares changing hands.

John Keells Holdings was flat at 117 with 60,400 shares traded, Aitken Spence shed five rupees to 525 with 4,500 shares traded while Commercial Bank fell three rupees to 132.75 with 20,300 shares changing hands.