Sri Lanka stocks gain 0.55-pct, rupee strengthens
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.55 percent higher on Thursday on foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings and Ceylon Cold Stores, and the rupee continued to strengthen against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 154.30/40 against the greenback in the spot market, gaining from the previous day’s close of 154.50/60 on banks forward selling US dollars, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index gained 35.65 points to close at 6,542.90. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 0.25 percent higher, up 9.32 points to 3,738.79.
The market was driven by interest in Janashakthi Insurance (up 1.90 rupees to 30.50 rupees) and foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings (up one rupee to close at 17 rupees) and Ceylon Cold Stores, brokers said.
Carson Cumberbatch (up 13.50 rupees to 208 rupees), Ceylon Beverage Holdings (up 98.80 rupees to 798.80 rupees) and Nestle Lanka (up 35.50 rupees to 1,810.50) lifted the benchmark index.
Market turnover was 1.3 billion rupees, up 37.9 percent from the previous day.
Net foreign buying was 392.8 million rupees, more than doubling from 124.4 million the previous day.
Foreign buying was 278.8 million in Softlogic Holdings and 109 million rupees in Ceylon Cold Stores.
Foreign selling was 24.8 million rupees in JKH, Asia Securities said. JKH gained 80 cents to close at 158.30 rupees.
Off market negotiated trades, or crossings, totalled 253.8 million rupees amounting to 19 percent of market turnover.
There was one crossing each in Ceylon Cold Stores (103.5 million rupees) and Commercial Bank non-voting shares (23.5 million rupees) and two crossings each in Softlogic Holdings (78.4 million rupees) and JKH (48.4 million rupees).
Commercial Bank non-voting share closed 2.50 rupees lower at 106.10 rupees. (COLOMBO, February 08, 2018)