Dialog pushes Sri Lanka stocks to 0.16-pct gain

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.16 percent higher on Friday, pushed up by gains in Dialog Axiata, provisional data showed.

The All Share Price Index closed 8.66 points up at 5,569.94. Following volatility in the morning session when it reached a low of 5,553.16, the ASPI gained sharply towards the end of trading, reaching a high of 5,578.68.

The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed 0.73 percent or 18.97 points up at 2,632.96.

The government defeated a no-confidence motion against it in parliament on Thursday evening, brought on by the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna citing a failure to prevent or minimize damage of the Easter Sunday terror attack.

The central bank decided to maintain its policy rates on Thursday, and hinted at a possible rate cut in August.

The stock market turnover was 364.96 million rupees, with 60 stocks gaining and 50 falling.

Dialog Axiata closed 40 cents up at 9.90 rupees a share, contributing most to the ASPI gain.

Hatton National Bank closed 2.90 rupees up at 135.90 rupees a share and Lion Brewery Ceylon closed 20.50 rupees up at 570.50 rupees a share, also pushing up the benchmark index.

There were crossings (negotiated trades) in Melstacorp of 129.2 million rupees and the stock closed 50 cents up at 44.50 rupees a share.

The ASPI gained throughout the week following the retreat to 5,504.60 on Monday.

The market has now recovered to the levels seen in the week before the Easter Sunday attack. (Colombo/Jul12/2019)