Shares fall as consumer, industrial stocks weigh

REUTERS: Sri Lankan stocks closed sharply lower yesterday, weighed by consumer discretionary and industrial stocks, as investors returned to stock markets this week after a long shutdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.

The benchmark stock index closed down 3.3 percent at 4,247.95. Sri Lanka’s stock market reopened on Monday after a 52-day shutdown, but closed early as shares repeatedly hit the lower circuit.

The island nation, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has reported 856 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths as of Monday.
Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings tumbled 14 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco slid 10 percent yesterday.

Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index was at 193.4 million, higher than Monday’s 4.41 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, off loading Rs.217.5 million (US$ 1.16 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 188 against the U.S. dollar as of 1019 GMT, according to Refinitiv data.

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