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Shares hit 2-1/2-week closing low; block deals boost turnover


28 February 2017 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares fell yesterday to hit their lowest close in more than two weeks as investors were worried over rising interest rates, but foreign buying and block deals in Expolanka Holdings boosted the turnover.
Foreign investors net bought Rs.716.2 million worth of equities yesterday, reversing the year-to-date net foreign outflow to an inflow of Rs.580.7 million worth of equities so far this year.
The Colombo stock index ended down 0.24 percent at 6,122.04, its lowest close since February 9.
“Selling pressure on John Keells brought the market down,” said Dimantha Mathew, Head of Research at First Capital Equities (Pvt.) Ltd.
“Investor sentiment is negative due to the rising interest rates and most of the investors are on a wait-and-see approach,” he added.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC slid 1.20 percent, while Hatton National Bank PLC slipped 2.04 percent. Expolanka Holdings PLC, which accounted almost half the day’s turnover, climbed 1.72 percent on foreign buying.
Turnover stood at Rs.1.35 billion, well more than this year’s daily average of Rs.625.2 million. Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more-than-four-year high since October, while the Central Bank has kept key policy rates on hold.


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