Sri Lanka stocks steady on foreign buying, rupee gains
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed flat on Wednesday with foreign buying interest in banks, John Keells and Softlogic Holdings, while the rupee gained against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee strengthened against the greenback to close at 154.50/60 rupees to a US dollar, gaining from 154.60/70 rupees the previous day, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index closed a marginal 0.08 percent lower, down 5.29 points to 6,507.25. The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks fell 0.19 percent, closing 7.17 points lower at 3,729.47.
Market turnover was 968.3 million rupees, up 14 percent from the previous day.
"The market continues to be driven by foreign buying interest, especially in banking stocks like Commercial Bank and HNB non-voting shares," says Shiyam Subaulla, Senior Vice President at Asia Securities.
Net foreign buying amounted to 124.4 million rupees, up 1.8 percent from the previous day.
Net foreign buying in HNB non- voting shares (down 30 cents to 191 rupees) was 42.9 million rupees, followed by 31 million rupees each in Commercial Bank (up 80 cents to 140.80 rupees) and John Keells (down one rupee to 157.50 rupees), according to Asia Securities.
Foreigners also bought 31 million rupees each of Janashakthi Insurance (up 1.10 rupees to 28.60 rupees) and Softlogic Holdings (up 10 cents to 16 rupees).
John Keells, Ceylon Cold Stores (down 17.60 rupees to 900 rupees) and Sri Lanka Telecom (down 50 cents to 28.50 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index.
Nestle Lanka closed 35 rupees higher at 1,775 rupees and Dialog gained 10 cents to 13.70 rupees.
One off-market negotiated deal, or crossing, in Commercial Bank non-voting shares was 313.8 million rupees. The deal was 32.4 percent of market turnover. The bank’s non-voting share closed 40 cents lower at 108.60 rupees. (COLOMBO, February 07, 2018)