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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Bourse sustains uptrend, foreigners net buyers; Rupee weakens

Bourse sustains uptrend, foreigners net buyers; Rupee weakens

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Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Penny stocks have made a significant contribution towards propelling the Colombo bourse on a six-day upturn as foreigners became net buyers yesterday (04) while the rupee dipped marginally on light importer demand.

Penny stocks have risen much faster than the fundamental counters which are moving slowly and quietly but steadily, brokers said, advising investors not to be blinded by the stock exchange rally.

The All Share Price Index gained 76.23 points to close 1.45 percent higher at 5,327.22 while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed 1.51 percent higher at 4,978.43, up by 73.90 points. The S&P SL20 closed at 2,931.41, up 33.65 points gaining 1.16 percent.

The rupee weakened against the greenback on light importer demand.

"The US dollar closed marginally stronger at Rs. 132.30/35 from its opening level of Rs. 132.25/30 in light trade on importer demand. The highest trade for the day was at Rs. 132.35 and lowest was at Rs. 132.25," the Sri Lanka Forex Association said.

The Colombo Stock Exchange recorded a net foreign inflow of Rs. 69.39 million yesterday on purchases amounting to Rs. 152.88 million.

"The indices continued a 6 day uptrend, ending sharply higher on the back of continued buying interest across the board. Turnover levels crossed the Rs. 1bn mark and were led by trades on banking, finance and diversified counters," John Keells Stockbrokers said.

Turnover at the bourse reached Rs. 1,240.02 million.

"Persistent buying interest led the bourse to cement its stay in the green for the 6th consecutive trading session with all three indices trending upwards. Sri Lanka Telecom (+4.2%), Carsons Cumberbatch (+2.3%), Sampath Bank (+4.9%), Ceylon Tobacco (+1.1%) and Distilleries (+3.4%) were among the biggest contributors to the index gain," Softlogic Equity Research said.

"Overall activity levels surged further as the volume touched one - year high of 178.6 million shares, whilst turnover was maintained at LKR1,240 mn," it said.

"The bull run has now persisted for nearly 9 straight trading sessions leading the broader index to advance as much as 380 points (+ c.7.7%). With a considerable percentage of gains have been attributed to the penny play, the quality stocks also have built momentum at a slow, steady & quiet pace. It is advised for the investors not to be blindfolded by the rally and get into play right at the top, as we reiterate that the gains in the speculatives would be short lived. Further we expect the selling pressure to emerge within next few days, given the excessive gains made.

"Persisted buying interest in the penny stock, Free Lanka Capital Holdings, led the counter to register a series of large trades on board. The counter trading at 0.6X PBV continued to increase in value as it touched a high of LKR3.2 (+28%), before closing at LKR3.0 with a 20% advance.

"Buying interest emerged strong in banking sector player Sampath Bank, trading at attractive valuations, as the counter saw several large trades on board including a c.179.7k share parcel dealt at LKR186.0. The counter touched a high of LKR189.1 (+5.2%), before settling at LKR188.6. Further the Non – Voting share of Commercial Bank was also among the day’s top turnover list as it witnessed a large trade of c.130.1k shares being traded at LKR85.0 in the market. The counter gained 2.1% to close at LKR85.9. People’s Leasing Company, another steady player trading below book value, which witnessed foreign accumulation recently, extended interest as the counter saw a block of 3.95 mn shares being crossed off at LKR11.7. The counter closed at LKR11.7 with a 5.4% advance. Meanwhile, Bukit Darah also registered a block of 77.7k shares taken off the market at its 52-week low of LKR644.0.

"Among speculative plays; E-Channelling (+8%), Nation Lanka Finance (+3.6%), Tess Agro (+10.7%), Blue Diamonds [Voting & Non – Voting] (+1.9%, 0%), Ceylinco Seylan Development (+2.4%)& Touchwood (+5.8%) were prominent. E-Channelling continued to witness large deals on board touching a high of LKR5.5 before closing at LKR5.4 after yesterday’s stake change. Steady players including DFCC Bank, Expolanka Holdings, Hatton National Bank, Hayleys and Richard Pieris also grabbed considerable interest during the day’s trading," Softlogic Equity Research said.

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