Sri Lanka stocks surge 1.2-pct, rupee stronger

Feb 28, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks surged 1.2 percent Friday with index heavy John Keells Holdings extending gains, while the rupee strengthened against the greenback, brokers and dealers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 67.50 points higher at 5,940.31, up 1.15 percent. The S&P SL20 closed 34.86 points higher at 3,223.66, up 1.09 percent.

Turnover was 851.64 million rupees, up from 446.57 million rupees last Wednesday.

JKH closed 8.70 rupees higher at 220.70 rupees, contributing most to the index gain.

JKH also closed 5.70 rupees higher at 212.00 rupees on Wednesday, with brokers say foreign selling pressure is easing.

JKH’s W0022 warrants closed 3.90 rupees higher at 64.30 rupees and its W0023 warrants closed 3.90 rupees higher at 67.70 rupees.

In forex markets the rupee rose to 130.80/95 levels to the US dollar in the spot market amid strong inflows, dealers said.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure in recent days dipping below 131.00 to the US dollar amid excess rupee liquidity in money markets generated by earlier Central Bank dollar purchases.

In stock markets, foreign investors bought 140.33 million rupees worth shares while selling 115.87 million rupees of shares.

With more confidence returning to the broader market 153 stocks closed up against 46 going down.

SLT closed 1.80 rupees higher at 44.30 rupees and Lanka Orix Leasing Company closed 3.80 rupees higher at 78.90 rupees.

Sampath Bank ended 2.00 rupees higher at 172.00 rupees and HNB closed 60 cents higher at 152.00 rupees.

Ceylon Tobacco Company closed 9.00 rupees lower at 1,089.40 rupees and Distilleries closed 1.90 rupees lower at 203.00 rupees.

Nestle Lanka ended 6.60 rupees lower at 2,010.00 rupees and Carson Cumberbatch ended 80 cents lower at 349.70 rupees.

Ceylinco Insurance closed 1.20 rupees lower at 1,373.30 rupees and Ceylon Grain Elevators closed 70 cents lower at 34.30 rupees.