Sri Lankan stocks fall as Cenbank rate hike fails to cheer investors

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Jan 20 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan stocks closed lower on Thursday, weighed down by losses in industrials and financial stocks, after an interest rate hike by the country’s central bank to control inflation failed to failed to lift investor sentiment.

* The CSE All-Share Index (.CSE) ended down 0.75% at 13,361.17, ending a four-day winning streak.

* Conglomerates Expolanka Holdings Plc (EXPO.CM) and Softlogic Holdings Plc (SOFT.CM) were the main drags on the index, falling 1% and 6% respectively.

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* As expected by many economists, the central bank raised the deposit and lending rate by 50 basis points each. Read more

* The central bank is focused on controlling inflation, limiting imports and attracting foreign capital as it seeks to build up reserves amid the island nation’s worst financial crisis in decades.

* Some analysts believe the country could face its first-ever default unless it boosts dollar inflows, despite Sri Lanka’s reiteration of its pledge to repay the full $4 billion owed to investors by 2022.

* Foreign investors were net sellers in the stock market, unloading shares worth 214 million rupees ($1.06 million), according to exchange data.

* Stock market turnover was 7.08 billion rupees.

* Trading volume reached 255.6 million shares from 205.9 million shares in the previous session.

* For a report on world markets, click on

($1 = 202.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)

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Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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