Stocks hit 16-week low as foreign selling picks up

Sri Lanka, Feb 15 (Capital Leads) – The main index of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) dropped to the lowest close in fifteen weeks today as net foreign outflow exceeded half a billion rupees amid sizable foreign selling in John Keells Holdings (JKH).

The broad market All Share Price Index (ASPI) lost 23.15 points to close, 0.39 percent lower than the previous session at 5,909.30 points, its lowest since October 26, 2018. The more liquid S&P SL20 Index meanwhile shed 15.19 points, to reach 3,028.22 points, 0.50 percent lower than yesterday.

Driven by eleven crossings making up 4.2 m of John Keells Holdings (JKH) shares, the off-board transactions comprised 67 percent of total turnover. With 12.8 mn total shares changing hands today, the daily market turnover reached LKR965.6 mn (USD5.4 mn) while YTD average daily turnover extended to LKR668.1 mn (USD3.7 mn).

Amid significant foreign selling, JKH dropped 0.3 percent as it made up 82 percent of the day’s turnover. Meanwhile, Sinhaputhra Finance (SFL), a company on the watch list of the market, gained 21.7 percent as it reiterated its ongoing negotiations to find a potential investor to resolve the matter of going concern.  

Backed by trading in JKH, Diversified Holdings led the sector-wise contribution to the turnover with 83 percent, followed by Banks, Finance and Insurance stocks which made up 10 percent.

Net foreign selling exceeded half a billion rupees today as foreigners sold shares worth a net LKR590.0 mn (USD3.3 mn), expanding the YTD net foreign selling to LKR5.2 bn (USD29.1 mn). 

Disclosure: I/We have no investments in the stocks mentioned in the above article and don’t intend to open any within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article for myself, and it expresses my opinion. I/We receive no compensation, nor do I/We have any business relationship with any companies whose stocks are mentioned in the article.

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