Sri Lanka stocks gain 0.16-pct, rupee weakens
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks gained 0.16 percent Friday on foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings and encouraging quarterly results, while the rupee weakened against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee weakened to 155.10/15 against the US dollar in the spot market, from Thursday’s close of 154.80/90, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index closed 10.48 points higher at 6,563.69. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks gained 4.20 points, up 11 percent, to 3,705.21.
"The market was relatively quiet, dominated by trades in Softlogic Holdings," said Kanishka Perera, Head of Research at Asia Securities.
Softlogic closed 1.50 rupees higher at 24 rupees. Trades in the stocks accounted for nearly 20 percent of market turnover.
Market turnover was 735.4 million rupees, down 16 percent from the previous close.
Net foreign buying was 109.5 million rupees, compared to net selling of 2.3 million rupees the previous close.
Foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings was 119 million rupees.
"Despite the prevailing gloomy sentiment, we’re also seeing some good December quarter results especially by financial institutions like banks," Asia Securities’ Perera said.
Sampath Bank, up 9.40 rupees to 327.40 rupees, and AIA Insurance, up 64.40 rupees to 489.40 rupees, weighed positively on the benchmark index on strong earnings growth in the December quarter.
Vallibel One, up 1.60 rupees to 21.20 rupees, and Softlogic Holdings, up 1.50 rupees to 24 rupees, also had the same effect on the All Share for the same reason.
Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, amounted to 53.8 million rupees, accounting for 7.3 percent of market turnover.
There was one crossing each in Central Finance (31.7 million) and Sanasa Development Bank (22.1 million rupees).
Central Finance closed 10 cents higher at 105.10 rupees and Sanasa Development Bank gained 1.50 rupees to 111.50 rupees. (COLOMBO, February 16, 2018)