Sri Lankan stocks sag with investors in holiday mood

May 21, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks weakened further Wednesday as the market re-opened after a long weekend with brokers expecting trading to be sluggish in the next two days owing to the Vesak holiday mood of investors. Talawakelle Plantations traded one rupee higher at 41.00 and Kegalle Plantations was also up by one rupee, trading at 67.00.

The Kelani Valley Plantations traded 1.50 lower at 72.50 rupees.

Total turnover by noon was 38.2 million rupees with 1.4 million shares traded. The Colombo Stock Exchange’s All Share Index had shed 0.15 percent (3.97 points) at 2,592.67 points and the Milanka lost 0.15 percent (4.68 points) at 3,151.50 by noon.

“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.

Counters affecting market activity were Aitken Spence which shed five rupees at 525.00 and the Lighthouse Hotel trading 4.75 rupees lower at 41.50 rupees.

Commercial Bank was also down 1.75 rupees at 134.00.

Investor activity was lower and retail trade dominated the floor on telecom and plantation counters, brokers said.

Sri Lanka Telecom traded 48.75 flat with Dialog Telekom also trading unchanged at 14.75.