Unlike the previous day, relatively serious foreign interest lifted sentiments among local investors yesterday pushing both indices ASI and MPI up by over 0.5%. Turnover was Rs. 877 million but volume was a low 25 million shares according to Softlogic Stockbrokers.
Premier blue JKH dominated foreign interest for the second consecutive day with 3 crossings accounting for 1.2 million shares at Rs. 211.8. On board activity of the counter was also on a high note with 168 trades during the day. Overall 1.6 million shares of JKH traded between Rs. 210 and Rs. 212 to finally close at Rs. 211.70, up by Rs. 2.60 or 1.2%.
Other main positive contributors were Lion Brewery (+12.9%), Distilleries (+3.2%), Bukit Darah (+1.9%) and Ceylon Tobacco (+0.7%). These stocks have been among foreigners favourites.
A crossing in Cargills brought the counter up the ladder of turnover as 535,000 shares were dealt with at Rs. 150. Investor attention was recorded in the dividend play counter, Nestle, with the counter accounting for 43,000 shares in volume while the counter gained 0.8% to close at Rs. 1,284.9.
Banking sector counters continued to be in the preferred list of investors as interest was observed in Seylan Bank [Non-Voting], Commercial Bank and Hatton National Bank. An on-board deal of 1.2 million shares was noted in Seylan Bank [Non-Voting] at a price of Rs. 35 as the counter with a gain of 2.7% at Rs. 34.8.
Similar interest was recorded in Alcohol sector counters, Lion Brewery and Distileries. The former peaked today at a 52-week high price of Rs. 290 and closed at Rs. 289.1 with a gain of 12.9% while the latter gained 3.2% to close at Rs. 150.0.
Lanka Securities said yesterday’s cash map (excluding crossings) improved to 46% and market RSI (14 day) on All Share Index increased to 32 from the previous figure of 27. As of yesterday 132 stocks are trading more than 40% discount to their 52 week high prices and almost 80 stocks are in oversold position. In addition to that, 110 stocks are trading below the net assets value.
Reuters said many domestic investors stayed away as high interest rates weighed on sentiment.
“Foreign buying in select shares pushed turnover levels while retail investors stayed away as usual due to high interest rates,” Reuters quoted an unnamed broker as saying.
The rupee closed at 130.24/28 to the dollar compared with Wednesday’s close of 130.13/17 on seasonal importer dollar demand, dealers said.