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Sri Lankan shares end at over 6-month high, led by large caps

COLOMBO, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended at their highest in more than six months on Thursday amid a strong turnover led by large-cap stocks on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 elections and better earnings in the April-June quarter, brokers said.

But foreign investors exited from risky assets, reversing the year-to-date net foreign inflow to net outflow.

The main stock index ended 0.15 percent, or 10.93 points up, at 7,377.24, its highest level since Jan. 29, Thomson Reuters data showed.

"A lot of retail activity was were there today. Still more appetite is there with expectations of political stability," Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers, told Reuters.

"There should be another profit-taking session before the elections, but with good earnings there is no other reason for the market to see a correction."

The gains were led by large-caps such as Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc, which rose 0.34 percent. Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc gained 1.53 percent.

The index had gained 6.6 percent in nearly a month through Thursday as investors appetite for risky assets on expectations of strong corporate earnings and political stability after the parliamentary elections.

Thursday’s turnover stood at 2.5 billion rupees ($18.7 million), its highest since July 29 and more than double of this year’s daily average of 1.11 billion rupees.

Foreign investors, who sold a net 265.4 million rupees in equities on Thursday, have sold a net 102.5 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.





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