Stock market ends 9-day fall; turnover surges

Saturday, 20 February 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Friday, ending a nine-session losing streak, with turnover rising to an over-three-week high on block deals in Textured Jersey Lanka.

However, analysts said rising domestic interest rates and global economic worries still remain the main risks.

The benchmark index closed 0.67% higher at 6,250.78, edging up from its lowest close since 29 April, 2014 hit on Thursday. It has fallen 2.87% in the last nine sessions through Thursday.

“The block deal in Textured Jersey translated into positive sentiment,” said First Capital Equities Ltd Research Manager Dimantha Mathew.

“With the deal, we saw some buying coming into the market. But this will be a temporary measure and overall direction in the medium term is still downward.”

The key index has fallen around 10% this year through Thursday, amid a rise in market interest rates.

Yields on 91-day t-bills rose 13 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday to a more-than-two-year high, signalling a further rise in market interest rates.

Turnover was Rs. 1.56 billion ($10.83 million), well above this year’s daily average of Rs. 731.8 million and highest since 2 February, on block deals in Textured Jersey Lanka.

Textured Jersey Lanka, which accounted for 70.1% of the day’s turnover, ended up 1.95% at 31.40 rupees.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs. 1.09 billion worth of shares on Friday, extending the net foreign outflow to Rs. 1.37 billion worth of shares so far this year.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc climbed 2% and Nestle Lanka Plc rose 1.31% while Dialog Axiata Plc gained 1.01%.

The markets will be closed on Monday for a Buddhist religious holiday.