Sri Lanka stocks gain, rupee weakens
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks gained 0.27 percent on Thursday on buying in John Keells Holdings and Dialog, while the rupee weakened against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee settled at 155.40/50 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market after falling to 155.60/70 against the greenback earlier in the day on local bank buying, dealers said.
The rupee closed at 155.30/40 the previous day.
The bond market was quiet on thin trading volumes, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index gained 17.38 points to close at 6,521.24. The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained 11.53 points, up 0.31 percent to close at 3,692.79.
The market sank deeper into the red in early trading before recovering after communal mob violence in Kandy seemed to abate, police lifting six hours in advance a curfew imposed in the central district.
"Investors were a bit cautious, particularly foreigners who bought safe stocks like JKH and Dialog," said Kanishka Perera, Head of Research at Asia Securities.
Market turnover was 733.5 million rupees, up 98 percent from the previous day.
JKH (up 2.20 rupees to 163), Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 30 cents to 3.10 rupees), Laugfs Gas (up 3.60 rupees to 35.60), and East West Properties (up 6.10 rupees to 21.90) contributed to the gain in the benchmark index.
East West Properties said it will sell its 72 percent stake in a southern high-rise beach resort managed by Marriot to Singapore’s hospitality management firm HPL Hotels & Resorts.
Ceylinco Insurance closed 141.90 rupees lower at 1,657.20 and Singer Sri Lanka closed 1.90 rupees lower at 40.20.
Net foreign buying was 24.2 million rupees, down 29 percent against 34 million the previous day.
Foreign buying was 18.2 million rupees in Dialog, and 15 million rupees in JKH, according to Asia Securities.
Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, amounted to 198.5 million rupees and was 27 percent of market turnover.
Two crossings in Nations Trust Bank (up 1.10 rupees to 80) amounted to 160 million rupees, and one in JKH was 38.5 million rupees. (COLOMBO, February 08, 2018)