EconomyNext – Sri Lankan shares closed marginally higher in thin and choppy trade Monday with turnover sinking to an eight-month low as investors waited for direction on the government monetary policy and budget, brokers said.
The All Share Price Index rose 39.45 points (0.54 percent) to reach 7,316.08 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, gained 17.85 points (0.44 percent) to close at 4,096.74.
Turnover was 338 million rupees, the lowest since May 2014 with no crossings or off-market negotiated deals, brokers Lanka Securities.
The benchmark index was lifted mainly by gains in John Keells Holdings, up 2.3 percent to 228.20 rupees, Nestle Lanka, up 3.6 percent to 2,262.40 rupees, Carson Cumberbatch which rose 2.5 percent to 410.00 rupees, Sri Lanka Telecom, up 1.6 percent to 50.00 rupees and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, up almost four percent to 79.00.
DFCC Bank emerged as the top contributor to turnover with 50 million rupees followed by John Keells Holdings (37 million rupees) and Vallibel One (23 million rupees).
Lanka Securities said investors were waiting for direction from the new government’s monetary policy announcement Tuesday and Wednesday’s budget.
Brokers SC Securities said foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of 42 million rupees.