Shares rise on Keells; turnover slumps

Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares edged up on Thursday for a second straight session, helped by market heavyweight John Keells Holdings, but turnover slumped to a more than one-week low as investors turned cautious ahead of a Parliamentary election.

The main stock index ended 0.2% or 14.44 points higher at 7,064.15, further recovering from a two-month low hit on Tuesday.

Turnover stood at Rs. 566 million ($4.22 million), its lowest since 10 June and half of this year’s daily average of about Rs. 1.11 billion.

“The market is up on Keells on very low volumes. There was lack of selling pressure that was seen in the last few days,” said Dimantha Mathew, Research Manager at First Capital Equities Ltd. “We don’t expect any significant movement to happen until the elections are announced.”

Investors were confused due to lack of direction on interest rates, economic policies, and on when the Parliamentary elections would be held, analysts said.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government has said it would dissolve Parliament once some crucial reforms, including an electoral bill, are passed, but has yet to fix a date for the election.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 1.64% firmer in low volumes, helping the overall index end higher.

Nestle Lanka Plc rose 1.49%, while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc closed 1.1% higher.

The market saw net foreign inflow of Rs. 1.3 million on Thursday, but it has suffered net foreign outflow of Rs. 3.32 billion in the past 17 sessions. The Bourse, however, has seen net inflows of Rs. 2.62 billion into equities so far in 2015.