REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares ended steady yesterday, after it hit a near three-week closing high in the previous session, as investors sold blue-chip shares such as Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and John Keells Holdings PLC.
The benchmark Colombo stock index ended down 0.01 percent at 6,401.90. It gained 1.3 percent last week in its first weekly gain in four.
“There was profit-taking in some blue-chip companies,” said First Capital Equities (Pvt.) Ltd Head of Research Dimantha Mathew. The bourse touched a near three-week high on Wednesday due to positive sentiment after Sri Lanka raised US $ 1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds earlier this week, as over US $ 5.5 billion in offers for the issue showed global investors were bullish about the prospects of the US $ 82 billion economy.
After the bond deal, yields in local T-bill auction fell along with the 364-day T-bill rates at Wednesday’s auction for the first time since April 15.
Turnover stood at Rs.1.06 billion, well above this year’s daily average of around Rs.742.7 million. Overseas investors, who were net sellers for the first time in seven sessions, sold a net Rs.3.2 million worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.5.08 billion worth of equities. Shares stumbled recently and hit their lowest close since April 7 on Monday, after losing in 10 of 11 trading sessions, on worries over capital gains tax on stocks, high-interest rates and policy uncertainty.
Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC fell as much as 1.96 percent while conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC dropped as much as 0.64 percent and Aitken Spence PLC slipped as much as 2.03 percent.