Sri Lankan stocks dip, foreign buying in JKH

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s benchmark stock index dipped for the third straight day Tuesday amid sharp increases in interest rates with heavy foreign buying into the John Keells Holdings conglomerate, brokers said.

The All Share Price Index lost 9.5 points to close at 7,234.9 (down 0.1 percent) while S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, gained 6.9 points (0.2 percent) to close at 4,108.3.

Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees about half of which came from crossings or off-the floor negotiated deals in JKH.

"Foreign investors were net buyers for the second consecutive day with a net inflow of 235 million rupees," Lanka Securities said.

"Net foreign inflows were seen in John Keells Holdings (238 million rupees), Access Engineering (26 million rupees), and Commercial Bank (24 million)."

Asia Securities said higher Treasury Bill yields, which rose for the fourth straight week, dampened enthusiasm among investors for stocks.

"Investor focus was prominent in the diversified sector, led by John Keells Holdings, which contributed about 55 percent to the day’s turnover aided by 14 crossings and heavy trading in the normal board."

Regnis and Access Engineering were among the actively traded stocks.