Sri Lankan stocks close down 0.2-pct

July 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed down on Thursday, as retail investors took profits on mid cap stocks and index heavy blue chips, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed down 0.27 percent (6.30 points) to end at 2,366.74, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.61 percent (16.21 points) to close at 2,631.70, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 302.8 million rupees.

Brokers said foreigners were net sellers in the maket today, reversing yesterday’s position.

There was net foreign selling of 49.5 million rupees, with overseas investors buying 20.7 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 70.2 million rupees, brokers said.

“Retailers were dominant despite the weak market sentiment,” Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

“There was profit taking on selected blue chip stocks.”

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of the Stassens group, closed at 83.50 rupees, down 1.50.

Index heavy Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 44.75 rupees, down 75 cents, while Sri Lanka’s largest celco, Dialog Telekom, closed at 5.50 rupees, down 25 cents.

Aitken Spence closed at 625.00 rupees, down 5.00, while index heavy conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 130.00 rupees, up 25 cents.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed flat at 132.50 rupees, while National Development Bank closed flat at 156.00 rupees.

Hatton National Bank closed at 118.75 rupees, up 1.50.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.85/114.95 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.