Sri Lanka stocks close 1-pct higher, pushed up by JKH

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks continued to rally for the third to close at 1 percent higher on Monday pushed up by John Keells Holdings, brokers said.

Colombo’s main All Share Price Index (ASPI) advanced 50.35 points to close above the psychological benchmark 5,038.85.

The index followed an upward trajectory reaching an intra-day high of 5,038.00 within the first half-hour of trading and continued rally above the 5,000 psychological benchmarks to close on a positive note.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks climbed 1.28 percent or 27.63 points up at 2,181.13.

Stockbrokers said that the market continued to gain amidst a fall in coronavirus infection cases found in the newly identified Kandakadu drug rehabilitation cluster while the country reported a rebound in exports for the month of June.

Sri Lanka’s exports in June 2019 was down 26 percent from a year earlier to 906.02 million US dollars, but extended a steep recovery seen in May after Coronavirus lockdown ended, the island’s Export Development Board said.

EDB reported a strong V-shaped recovery in the export sector.

“Exports have become a national priority, now more than ever, it is certainly impressive to see a strong V-shaped recovery in the export sector, comparatively to the lowest point in April 2020, exports are up 327 percent,” Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe said.

The market turnover was 1.19 billion rupees with 122 stocks gaining and 27 stocks making losses*.

Foreign investors continued to sell in the market. Net foreign selling in the market amounted to 389.5 million rupees while the overall net foreign selling in the market since after the coronavirus lockdowns amounted to 15.55 billion rupees.

John Keells Holdings contributed most to APSI’s gain, climbing 2.10 rupees to trade at 113.50 rupees a share.

Other stocks that contributed to ASPI’s gain were Dialog Axiata climbing 20 cents to trade at 11.30 rupees a share and Lions Brewery Ceylon stocks gaining 17.90 rupees a share to trade at 599.00 rupees.

(Colombo/July20/2020)

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