COLOMBO Oct 3 Sri Lankan stocks ended up for a
fifth straight session to post a more-than-five-week closing
high on Monday, led by conglomerate John Keells Holdings
, as hopes over better macro-economic conditions helped
The day's turnover was boosted by foreign institutional
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange
finished up 0.61 percent, or 39.62 points, at 6,574.39, its
highest close since Aug. 25.
"Investors are bullish given the better outlook for
macroeconomic fundamentals," said Prashan Fernando, COO, Acuity
Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 3.9 percent in September
from a year earlier, at a slightly slower pace compared with the
4 percent in the previous month.
Stockbrokers said the market believes the central bank's
tightening measures have begun to act, which leads to a
possibility of lower rates in future. Central bank chief
Indrajith Coomaraswamy's positive comments published in local
newspapers over the weekend also helped boost sentiment, they
Last week, the central bank's decision to hold key monetary
policy rates steady, after tightening policy three times since
December, suggested that policy makers were keen to support a
slowing economy, analysts said.
The gain also comes after treasury bill yields fell between
16 basis points and 33 basis points after the rate decision on
Analysts said they expected the stock index to rise this
week due to the fall in the return on fixed income assets.
Foreign investors bought a net 84.8 million rupees worth of
shares on Monday. But they have been net sellers of 2.86 billion
rupees worth of equities so far this year.
Turnover stood at 1.32 billion rupees ($8.99 million), more
than this year's daily average of 759.4 million rupees.
John Keells Holdings Plc climbed 1.3 percent, while the
biggest-listed Lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc
rose 2.15 percent.
Shares in Lion Brewery PLC jumped 12.4 percent as
market expects better earnings after its plant, hit by the
floods in May, is ready to operate, stockbrokers said.
($1 = 146.2500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry