Stocks end steady; turnover moderate

Friday, 26 August 2016 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares ended steady on Thursday in moderate trading volume as local buying boosted by positive sentiment was offset by foreign outflows and selling for month-end settlement.

Sentiment has been positive after the authorities started to take some bold steps to counter a balance of payments and credit problem.

Sri Lanka’s new Government is drafting reforms aimed at simplifying taxes, widening the tax base and increasing compliance, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Wednesday, two days after his ministry said the country’s tax revenue in the first seven months jumped 23% to Rs. 769.8 billion from a year earlier.

The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.02% up at 6,589.71, hovering around its highest close since 20 May hit on Tuesday.

“There was some profit-taking due to month-end settling though the market is still on positive sentiment,” said COO at Acuity Stockbrokers Prashan Fernando.

Foreign investors sold a net 78.4 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the outflow so far this year to Rs. 3.94 billion worth of shares. They are however net buyers of Rs. 714.4 million worth of equities so far this month.

Turnover stood at Rs. 624.5 million ($ 4.30 million), below this year’s daily average of around Rs. 750 million.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc edged up 0.4%, while private lender Sampath Bank fell 0.6%.