ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.14 percent higher Tuesday on domestic buying in JKH and medium cap stocks like Janashakthi Insurance, while the rupee weakened against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 153.85/154.00 against the US dollar in the spot market, down from yesterday close of 153.75/80 on demand from banks for the greenback, dealers said.
The Colombo All Share index gained 8.73 points to close at 6,462.68. The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed flat, down 2.27 points to 3,735.31.
"The market picked up on domestic interest in John Keells Holdings and medium cap stocks like Janashakthi Insurance," said Prasanna Chandrasekera, a director at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
John Keells Holdings gaining 1.80 rupees to close at 165 rupees weighed positively on the benchmark index, followed by Janashakthi Insurance up three rupees to 21 rupees.
Dialog gained 20 cents to close at 13.70 and Carson Cumberbatch closed 17.90 rupees lower at 181.10 rupees.
Market turnover was 927 million rupees, up 175 percent from the previous close.
Net foreign buying was 18.5 million rupees, up from 0.4 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in Ceylon Cold Stores (down 10 cents to 899.90 rupees) amounted to 23 million rupees, according to First Capital Research.
Foreign selling in Chevron Lubricants Lanka (up 10 cents to 115 rupees) was nine million rupees.
Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 181.5 million rupees, or 40 percent of market turnover.
Three crossings in Amana Bank amounted to 79.8 million rupees and two in JKH for 54.4 million rupees.
There was one crossing each in Commercial Bank (24.3 million rupees) and Janashakthi Insurance (23 million rupees). (COLOMBO, January 30, 2018)