Stock market slips from over 3-month high on profit-taking

Friday, 23 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares on Thursday snapped a five-session winning streak and eased from a more than three-month high on profit-booking, while foreign buying in Commercial Bank Plc boosted the daily traded turnover.

Hopes of political stability after two key parties decided to remain in the ruling coalition, allayed fears of a government collapse and that helped heavy buying to boost the day’s turnover.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.41% weaker at 6,571.73, slipping from its highest close since 6 November 2017 hit on Wednesday.

Turnover stood at Rs. 1.54 billion ($ 9.93 million), well above the year’s daily average of Rs. 869.6 million.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 660.5 million worth of shares, extending net foreign buying to Rs. 6.4 billion worth of equities so far this year.

“There was a bit of selling today. Basically, what ever stocks moved up over the last few days were sold ... may be due to profit-taking by a fund,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“A large block of Commercial Bank shares was bought by foreigners, boosting the turnover.” Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 2.9% while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc lost 0.5% and Dialog Axiata Plc ended 0.7% down.

Shares in biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, which accounted for 52.6% of day’s turnover, ended 0.7% up.

The index dropped 0.13% last week, ending a three-week winning streak.