Stock market gains; foreign buying boosts turnover

Friday, 6 April 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares climbed on Thursday to their highest close in one week as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion, easing political uncertainty, dealers said.

Wickremesinghe won the motion as late on Wednesday as a majority of legislators voted to support his coalition government but the instability caused may damage its reform agenda.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.47%up at 6,474.70, edging up from its lowest close since 28 March hit on Wednesday.

The stock market gains come a day after the Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points, as policymakers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.

The index climbed 0.51% last week, its first weekly gain in five, but dropped 1.14% last month.

Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc rose 4.8%.

“There was an initial spike with some buying interest in Distilleries, while foreign buying dominated the turnover levels,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

The turnover stood at Rs. 993.4 million ($ 6.39 million), lower than this year’s daily average of around Rs. 1.2 billion.

Foreign investors bought shares worth net Rs. 421.9 million on Thursday, but they have been net sellers of Rs. 871.6 million worth equities so far this year.

Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc ended 0.8%higher, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc rose 2.3%and Hatton National Bank Plc firmed 0.9%.