Sri Lanka stocks flat, rupee weakens
Jan 23, 2018 18:17 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lankan stocks closed flat Tuesday with the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks gaining 0.26 percent on foreign buying interest in JKH and banks, while the rupee weakened against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 154.10/20 rupees against the greenback, depreciating 0.12 percent from 153.95/154.00 on Friday on importer demand over the last two days, dealers said.
Foreign buying was witnessed in the bond market amid thin volumes as yields eased across most of the tenures from the previous day.
The benchmark Colombo All Share index closed 3.35 points lower, down 0.05 percent to 6,418.05. The S&P SL20 gained 9.59 points to 3,726.66.
"We saw foreign investors trading index-heavy JKH amongst themselves. There was also foreign buying in HNB and Sampath Bank," says Kanishka Perera, Head of Research at Asia Securities.
Market turnover was 1.49 billion rupees, up 225 percent from the previous close.
Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 1.05 billion rupees, accounting for 70 percent of market turnover.
Two crossings in JKH amounted to 1.03 billion and one in Sampath Bank amounted to 24 million rupees.
John Keells Holdings closed 50 cents higher at 165.30 rupees and Sampath Bank gained 1.90 rupees a share to close at 317 rupees.
Net foreign buying was 226.14 million rupees, up 15 percent from a day ago.
Net foreign buying in JKH was 152.8 million rupees, 38 million rupees in HNB and 28 million rupees in Sampath Bank. HNB closed unchanged at 250 rupees.
Net foreign selling in Union Assurance was 3.2 million rupees, Asia Securities said.
Union Assurance closed 20 cents lower at 135 rupees.
The benchmark index was weighed down by Ceylon Cold Stores and Lion Brewery despite gains from Hemas Holdings and Commercial Bank.
Ceylon Cold Stores lost 30 rupees, down 3.23 percent to close at 900 rupees after the company announced a 32 percent decline in earnings for the December quarter on shrinking margins.
Lion Brewery was down 12.20 rupees to 545.10 rupees.
Hemas Holdings gained 3.50 rupees to close at 119.80 rupees after its 5.7 billion acquisition of stationery company Atlas Axilla was factored in.
Dealers said the valuation was favourable and Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said Hemas' debt and ratings would not be impacted by the deal.
Commercial Bank closed 1.90 rupees higher at 138 rupees.
Carson Cumberbatch, which controls Lion Brewery, impacted the All Share index favourably gaining 3.90 rupees to close at 180 rupees. (COLOMBO, January 23, 2018)