Sri Lankan stocks decline further as net foreign selling reaches three-week high

Sri Lanka, Sep 21 (Insights Equity) – Sri Lankan stocks extended losses for the second consecutive day today amid improving market turnover as the day’s net foreign selling, continuing for the fourth straight session, reached its highest in more than three weeks.

ASPI posts back to back losses: Declining 0.29 percent, the All Share Price Index shed 17.31 points from the previous session to stand at 5,904.9 points as the index extended its losses for the second straight session.

Meanwhile, S&P SL20 index, where the largest and most liquid stocks are included, shed 14.01 points to end the session at 3,016.76 points, 0.46 percent lower than yesterday.

Backed by crossings, turnover reaches the highest in six sessions:  With 65 percent of contribution made by off-board transactions, the daily turnover stood at LKR977.7 mn (USD5.8 mn), its highest since September 14, 2018 and well-above the year-to-date daily average turnover of LKR796.1 mn (USD4.7 mn).

Net foreign outflow reaches the highest in more than three weeks: With sizable foreign selling in John Keells Holdings (JKH), Commercial Bank and Sampath Bank, year-to-date net foreign outflow expanded to LKR5.9 bn (USD34.8 mn) today as overseas investors sold shares worth a net LKR359.9 mn (USD2.1 mn) today, the largest since August 29, 2018

JKH gains 0.4 percent; leads the turnover generation: Gaining 0.4 percent, JKH led the daily turnover generation with a contribution 28.0 percent while Melstacorp (MELS) made up 27.6 percent as both stocks witnessed crossings where 0.9 mn shares of JKH changed hands at LKR127.0 – LKR129.0, while 5.3 mn shares of MELS traded at LKR50.3.

Meanwhile, Commercial Bank and Hatton National Bank were also amongst the top turnover generators today making up 20 percent and 8 percent of the daily turnover respectively, backed by off-board negotiated transactions where the former traded 1.6 mn shares at LKR116.0 while the latter 0.3 mn shares at LKR214.0

However, diversified holdings sector spearheaded the sectoral contribution to the turnover with 57 percent followed by the stocks of banks, finance and insurance sector which collectively made up 37 percent.

Furthermore, BPPL Holdings and SMB Leasing were the highest gainers of the market today while Expolanka Holdings and Browns Capital were two of the most actively traded counters.

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