ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks bounced back and ended 1.82 percent up on Tuesday, after the previous day’s plunge amid hopes of COVID-19 lockdown being systemically eased also helped sentiment, brokers said.
Foreign investors, however, sold a net 50 million worth of shares on the market. The market has suffered a net foreign outflow of over 41.8 billion rupees so far this year.
A broker said even though the market saw a bounce back from the previous day’s fall, the activity was still low generating 3.5 billion rupees in turnover well below this year’s average daily turnover of over 4 billion rupees.
The index closed 155.72 points up at 8,692.60 points after opening 8,638 psychology benchmark level and continued to gain throughout the day. But it slipped after noon to settle around 8,700 levels before the close.
The S& P SL20 index of more liquid stocks up 1.91 percent or 61.34 points to close at 3,265.41.
Sri Lanka extended its COVID-lockdown till September 21 citing that with a number of deaths and infection rate slowly declining and the government is confident that the country will be able to reopen without risk.
On Tuesday, a state health minister said the island nation is likely to gradually reopen starting next Tuesday (21), though health experts warn that the country is not yet out of the woods.
On Monday, the stocks plunged as import restrictions and an increasing difference between dollar buying and selling weighed on the sentiment while foreigners also exit from the island nation’s risky assets.
The Monday’s percentage fall was the worst performance since February 22 this year. The market has been on the fall most of the days last year.
Expolanka Holdings, the market heavyweight which has a significant export component in its business, gained 5.34 percent to close at 154.00 rupees a share from the previous drop of 14.68 percent.
The company in a disclosure to the bourse on Friday said it had bought a 100 percent stake in US-based Complete Transport System LLC through one of its overseas units 6.1 million US dollars. The stockbroker said the acquisition failed to boost the shares.
The gain was also contributed by LOLC holdings and Brown Investments.
LOLC Holdings gained 2.81 percent to close at 514.75 rupees a share.
Browns Investment, a subsidiary of the LOLC, is up 4.65 percent to close at 9.00 rupees.
The bourse saw 34 stocks gaining against 153 falling on Tuesday.
Brokers say the market could fall significantly if a market correction starts. (Colombo/September14/2021)