Sri Lankan stocks down 0.41-pct on profit taking

July 02, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares continued to slide for the fourth straight day as retail investors carried on taking profits, while high net worth and institutional investors stayed on the sidelines, brokers said. Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 135.00 rupees, up 5.00, while National Development Bank closed at 155.00 rupees, up 1.50.

Hatton National Bank closed flat at 120.00 rupees.

Diversified Hayleys closed at 132.50 rupees, up 1.50.

The spot dollar remained unchanged at 114.95/115.00 rupees in late afternoon trade, dealers said.

The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed down 0.41 percent (9.82 points) to end at 2,408.91, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.18 percent (4.99 points) to close at 2,709.57, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 341.6 million rupees.

There was net foreign buying worth 64.3 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 131.8 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 67.5 million rupees, brokers said.

“Retail profit taking continued in the market today,” Geeth Balasuriya, research manager at Acuity Stockbrokers said.

“However despite the market’s mediocre performance this week, we expect bargain hunting to stabilize the market in the coming days.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings closed at 136.00 rupees, down 75 cents, while diversified Aitken Spence closed at 640.00 rupees, down 8.00.

Top celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.25 rupees.

Index heavy fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 47.25 rupees, down 75 cents.

DFCC Bank closed at 103.25 rupees, down 75 cents, while Sampath Bank closed at 109.00 rupees, down 25 cents.

Eagle Insurance closed at 140.00 rupees, down 5.00.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 89.50 rupees, up 75 cents.