Sri Lankan stocks edge up following the worst day in more than two years

Sri Lanka, Sep 19 (Insights Equity) – Sri Lankan shares gained ground today from record losses suffered yesterday where the stocks slumped to the lowest close in more than two years. However, net foreign outflow continued for the second consecutive session, led by foreign selling in John Keels Holdings (JKH).

ASPI snaps the losing streak: After three straight sessions of losses, the All Share Price Index (ASPI) improved marginally by 3.54 points, to close at 5,974.75 points, 0.06 percent higher than the previous day as S&P SL20 index, where largest and most liquid stocks are included, gained 0.16 percent to stand at 3,077.36 points, 5.04 points higher than yesterday.

Five crossings drive the turnover: With the share volume declining to 15.57 mn of shares, less than half of the volume recorded yesterday, daily market turnover dipped to LKR657.2 mn (USD4.0 mn), slightly below the year-to-date average daily turnover of LKR796.5 mn (USD4.8 mn).

Backed by five crossings, off-board negotiated transactions accounted for nearly 40 percent of the day’s turnover, an improvement of over 20 percent from yesterday.

Net foreign outflow exceeds LKR200 mn for the second straight session: Meanwhile, foreigners were net sellers for the second consecutive session as they offloaded stocks worth a net LKR207.8 mn (USD1.3 mn), raising the year-to-date net foreign outflow to LKR5.4 bn (USD32.4 mn).

JKH leads the turnover generation; gains over one percent: JKH made the highest contribution to the turnover with 19 percent as the stock gained more than 1 percent despite witnessing heavy foreign selling. With 18 percent contribution to the turnover, Melstacorp gained nearly 3 percent in value, while Sampath bank, declining nearly two percent, made up 17 percent of the day’s turnover.

The banks, finance and insurance sector was the leading turnover generator sector-wise with a contribution of 39 percent followed by the stocks of the diversified sector which collectively made up 38 percent.

Furthermore, Bimputh Finance and Watawala Plantations were amongst the highest gainers of the market today, while LOLC Finance and Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka were two of the most actively traded counters during the day.


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