CSE closes at 3-week high; Keells leads

Friday, 20 July 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares rose yesterday and marked their highest close in nearly three weeks, led by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, as foreign buying boosted sentiment.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.36% firmer at 6,183.02, its highest close since 29 June. “We saw some renewed interest coming into the market with both local and foreign investors returning,” said First Capital Holdings Head of Research Dimantha Mathew. “Falling commodity prices are also helping.” Turnover stood at Rs. 634.7 million ($ 3.97 million), less than this year’s daily average of Rs. 887.7 million. 

Foreign investors bought net equities worth Rs. 73.7 million yesterday, but they have been net sellers of stocks worth Rs. 2.6 billion in the year so far.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate by the Central Bank has also hurt sentiment, analysts said.

Economic growth in 2018 is likely to be between 4% and 4.5%, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5%, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said earlier this month.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC rose 1.5% while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC gained 2.1% and Nestle Lanka PLC ended 2.1% higher.