Sri Lanka stocks gain 0.02-pct on insurance, banking

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.02 percent higher on Friday, on the back of banking and insurance shares, brokers said.

The stocks rally continued for the second consecutive day, after sliding for two weeks.

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 0.96 points higher at 5,557.25.

The ASPI had fallen to an intra-day low of 5545.59 in the morning session, and gained up to an intra-day high of 5568.10, just five minutes before trading closed.

The more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed  2.46 points higher at 2,738.95.

Market turnover was 326.6 million rupees.

There was foreign buying interest, with an inflow of 101.3 million rupees into the market.

Ceylinco Insurance contributed the most to the ASPI gain, closing 98.80 rupees higher at 2,123.60 rupees per share.

Commercial Bank closed 2.06 rupees higher at 99 rupees per share and Seylan Bank share ended 6.48 rupees higher at 62.80 rupees, also pushing the ASPI up.

The Sampath Bank share was the most active, generating a third of the turnover, and closing 2 rupees higher at 180.10 rupees.

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John Keells Holdings, which led the rally on Thursday closed flat at 156 rupees per share on Friday, generating the second highest turnover.

Share prices of 76 firms gained, while 69 fell. 

First Capital Holdings’ brokerage arm said there was 1.15 billion rupees in net foreign outflows from the market in March, while the outflow was 6.1 billion rupees year to date. (Colombo/Mar29/2019-SB)