Sri Lanka stocks gain on banks, near 5-month high

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s stocks closed 0.85 percent higher on Thursday with banks pushing the market up, brokers said.

Colombo’s All Share Price index (ASPI) closed 48.69 points higher at 5,794.66 after reaching an intra-day high of 5,819.12 in the first hour of trading.

The ASPI is now near a 5-month high, going past the 5,770.57 recorded on March 05. The year had started with the market at 6,062.20.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 2.52 percent or 70.95 points up at 2,881.01 on Thursday.

The market turnover was 744 million rupees with 113 stocks gaining and 56 stocks declining.

A report from First Capital, an investment house, said that a fall in the market is possible.

“With the market gaining 9 percent over 2 months we believe there could be some profit taking leading to a market correction. As it is the results season, weak earnings are also likely to support dim returns in the market," First Capital Research said in its Equity Strategy report.

“We believe that any profit taking in the market would lead to a great opportunity for bargain hunting. We expect market earnings to bottom out in June 2019 quarter and show gradual improvement in September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.”

Two crossings in Commercial Bank of Ceylon stocks added up to 53.7 million rupees in turnover, priced at 109 rupees a share.

Retail activity remained strong with more than 10,000 trades done, brokers said.

Banking stock gained 4.25 percent on Thursday.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed 5.10 rupees up at 109.00 rupees a share contributing most to the rise of the ASPI.

Hatton National Bank closed 7.80 rupees up at 158 rupees a share and DFCC Bank closed 6.40 rupees down at 92.10 rupees a share and Sampath Bank closed 4.20 rupees up at 165.10 rupees a share, also pushing the ASPI up. 
(COLOMBO, 25 July, 2019)

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