Sri Lankan stocks down 0.85-pct on profit taking

Sep 15, 2009 (LBO) – A rally in Sri Lanka share prices that lifted them to a 30-month high skidded to a halt Tuesday as retail investors took profits from an overheating market, brokers said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed down 0.85 percent (24.26 points) to end at 2,837.99, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks lost 0.68 percent (21.71 points) to close at 3,164.51, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 888.1 million rupees.

“Today the market went through a long-expected technical correction,” Mohan V. Thangarajah of First Guardian Equities said.

“However, the bourse will achieve steady growth and the ASPI will move towards the 3,000 mark.”

Torchwood Investment closed at 91.25 rupees, down 6.25, while Colombo Dockyard closed at 162.50 rupees, down 2.75.

Sampath Bank closed at 168.75 rupees, down 4.75, while DFCC Bank closed at 145.00 rupees, down 4.00.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 163.00 rupees, down 3.25, while Hatton National Bank closed at 155.00 rupees, down 1.75.

Brokers said 2.87 million John Keells Holdings (JKH) shares changed hands. It closed at 148.00 rupees, up 1.25, while Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a unit of unlisted Stassens Group closed at 80.75 rupees, down 1.50.

Index heavy Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed at 5.75 rupees, down 25 cents, while Sri Lanka’s largest fixed line operator Sri Lanka Telecom closed flat at 45.25 rupees.

On Monday there was net foreign buying worth 114.0 million rupees, with foreign investors buying 459.6 million worth shares and selling shares valued at 345.6 million rupees, brokers said.

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