Shares rise as consumer, financial stocks shine; end lower for week

Saturday, 16 May 2020 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks rose for the third straight session on Friday, boosted by gains in consumer staples and financial stocks.

The benchmark stock index closed up 1.04% at 4439.04. However, the index ended 2.9% lower for the week due to initial losses as trading resumed on Monday after a weeks-long shutdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections.

The island nation, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has reported 925 confirmed COVID-19 cases and nine deaths as of Thursday, according to Health Ministry data.

Shares of soft drink and ice cream maker Ceylon Cold Stores PLC rose 17.4%, the biggest boost to the index, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC’s stock fell 3.5% and was the biggest drag on the index.

Shares of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC rose 9.6%.

Trading volume, when compared to the last full trading day, was 69.4% lower at 26.06 million shares.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading Rs. 916.20 million ($4.88 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 187.8 against the U.S. dollar as of 11:54 GMT, 0.16% lower for the day compared to last session’s close of 187.5, according to Refinitiv data.

Equity market turnover was Rs. 1.28 billion, data showed.