JKH, Dialog boost Sri Lanka stocks to 4-month high

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.69 percent higher on Thursday on buying interest in John Keells Holdings, Dialog Axiata and Ceylon Cold Stores, provisional data showed. 

Colombo’s All Share Price index (ASPI) closed 38.83 points up at 5,684.48, reaching a 4-month high since March 11.
 
The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 1.40 percent or 37.73 points up at 2,732.26.
 
The market turnover was 391.7 million rupees with 113 stocks gaining and 51 stocks declining amid high retail investor activity.
 
There was moderate foreign participation, with net outflows of 17.3 million rupees from the market.
 
There was one crossing in Teejay Lanka for 45 million rupees and two crossings in Melstacorp totalling 45 million rupees.
 
John Keells Holdings PLC closed 2.90 rupees up at 151.00 rupees a share, Dialog Axiata gained 40 cents to 11.10 rupees a share and Colombo Cold Stores PLC was 30.00 rupees up at 600.00 a share, pushing the ASPI up.
 
Brokers said that stocks are gaining as an alternative investment on the back of price controls on fixed deposits, and due to expectations of elections this year.
 
However, some stocks may fall on profit taking, after the recent gains, brokers said.
 
The ASPI has gained for seven straight days, soaring past the levels seen just before the Easter Sunday bombings, which caused stocks to plunge.
 
"The earnings season is coming up in two weeks’ time, and companies that did badly may witness some selling pressure," a broker said.
 
The June quarter was overshadowed by the terror attack, which has hit the tourism and related industries. 
 
Economic activity slowed down with people staying at their homes for most of a month, due to traditional April holidays which were followed by a security crackdown.
 (Colombo, 18 July 2019)