Stock market hit four-month closing high; John Keells leads

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters:  Shares rose for a fourth session of gains on Tuesday to hit their highest close in four months, led by conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc , while foreign investors’ selling dented the sentiment.

The benchmark stock index rose 0.65 % to 6,637.74, its highest closing level since 11 January.

“Today, Keells moved the market but foreign outflow is giving out a negative sentiment. It looks like a foreigner is exiting from Keells,” said First Capital Equities Ltd Head of Research, Dimantha Mathew. 

Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs. 445.3 million ($3.06 million) worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the net selling so far this year to Rs. 3.3 billion worth of equities.

John Keells Holdings Plc, which saw a net foreign selling of 2.7 million shares on Tuesday, ended up 2.2 % higher.

Shares in Hatton National Bank Plc rose as much as 2.82 %.

The turnover stood at  Rs. 1.04 billion, well above this year’s daily average of around Rs. 778.2 million.

The index gained 1.2 % last week, its fifth straight weekly rise. The 14-day relative strength index ended at 80.541 on Tuesday, compared with Monday’s 78.277, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level of 70 and above indicates the market is overbought.

However, gains were capped as investors were worried that the island government’s move to increase the value added tax (VAT) and impose new taxes, effective since 2 May, would hit the bottom lines of companies.