Sri Lankan stocks fall 1.0-pct

Oct 26, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed down 1.0 percent Monday as buyers stayed in the sidelines, awaiting September quarter earnings season which has just begun, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index closed down 1.07 percent (32.60 points) to end at 3,024.02, while the Milanka Index of more liquid stocks lost 1.01 percent (34.64 points) to close at 3,4399.36, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 330.0 million rupees.

“Investor were cautious and were looking for a hint of the future direction of the market,” Nikita Tissera, research manager at SC Securities, a stock brokering firm, said.

“The direction of the September quarter earnings would give the market some much needed guidance.”

Troubled Seylan Bank reported a growth in profits in September. The stock traded at 39.00 rupees, down 2.75.

“The banking sector results just started with Seylan Bank and it looks positive so far. We expect the good results to continue in the quarter but asset quality remains a concern,” Tissera said.

National Development Bank closed at 187.75 rupees, down 1.25, and Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed at 181.25 rupees, down 3.25.

Sampath Bank closed at 189.75 rupees, up 4.75, and Hatton National Bank closed at 169.00 rupees, up 75 cents.

Dialog Telekom a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 7.25 rupees, and Sri Lanka Telecom closed at 45.00 rupees, down 1.00.

Diversified John Keells Holdings closed at 144.00 rupees, down 50 cents, and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka closed at 99.00 rupees, down 3.25