Sri Lankan stocks becalmed, retailers take profits

May 24, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed almost flat Monday as retail investors took profit while gains on selected high value shares prevented a deeper slide in the indices, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,232.92, down 2.77 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks fell 0.14 percent (6.61 points) to close at 4,732.12.

Turnover was 1.33 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

“We saw some profit taking today despite a rise in select banking stocks and conglomerates,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at stock brokering house SC Securities said.

“Market fluctuations continue alongside high turnover.”

Brokers said price gains on blue chips HNB, Hayleys and Commercial Bank of Ceylon prevented the index from falling further.

Hayleys closed at 305.50 rupees, up 10.50, Hemas Holdings closed flat at 139.00 and John Keells Holdings closed at 179.25 rupees, down 1.00.

HNB closed at 245.00 rupees, up 2.75 with over a million shares changing hands, Commercial Bank closed at 249.00 rupees, up 50 cents with 562,000 shares traded, Sampath Bank closed at 281.00 rupees, down 3.00 and Seylan Bank closed at 53.75 rupees, down 25 cents.

Distilleries Company of Ceylon closed flat at 123.00 rupees.

Galadari Hotels ended at 30.00 rupees, down 1.25, Colombo Dockyard closed at 263.50 rupees, down 4.25, Chevron Lubricants closed at 164.75 rupees, down 1.75 and Coco Lanka closed at 42.25 rupees, down 1.00.