Forex, equity markets not moved by CB statement

The rupee stayed flat and the bourse continued in negative territory with all three indices closing in the red despite the Central Bank releasing positive indicators on the economy.

The All Share Price Index dipped 30.28 points to close at 4,898.22, down 0.61 percent. The Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks fell 0.35 percent to close 15.25 points lower at 4,365.02 while the S&P SL20 fell 0.18 percent, down 5.08 points to close at 2,760.95.

The rupee was unchanged against the greenback yesterday on thin volumes.

"The US dollar closed flat in light sluggish trade on Tuesday at Rs. 131.88-90 from its opening level of Rs. 131.85-93.The market high was at Rs. 131.93 and the lowest was at Rs. 131.85," the Sri Lanka Forex Association said.

Year-to-date, the bourse has slumped 19.4 percent.

Tuesday’s turnover amounted to Rs. 319.9 million on 10.9 million shares changing hands during the day.

Foreign buying continues to be encouraging with the a net foreign inflow of Rs. 107.8 million yesterday.

"The bourse extended its bearish momentum despite the release of the monetary policy review indicating that the current policy stance is appropriate in order to reach the growth estimates. The benchmark index took a volatile path as it merely gained 0.08% at its intraday high of 4932.24 points yet lost ground to close with a dip of 30 points. Similarly the MPI took a sluggish trend losing 15 points as 11 out of 25 counters recorded dips," Softlogic Equity Research said.

"Diversified conglomerate John Keells Holdings, with its contributions to yesterday’s net foreign inflow secured its momentum spearheading the day’s turnover backed by a boost following a large off-market transaction of c.251k at LKR185.00. Tokyo Cement which was seen reaching a 52 week low of LKR27.40 recently, crept up the turnover renewing its 52 week low at LKR26.90. Backed by recent foreign accumulation, both its Voting and Non-Voting shares gained interest. The former witnessed 2 on-board blocks amounting to c.950k shares being transacted at LKR27.00 while the latter saw a block of 300k  shares being picked on board at LKR19.80.  Both the counters closed flat at LKR27.00 and  LKR19.80 respectively.

 "High market caliber counter Ceylon Tobacco followed breathing in LKR28mn via an off-board transaction where 700k shares were dealt at the 52 week high block trade price of LKR700. The counter closed flat at LKR700.10 after reaching an intra-day high of LKR720.00 (+2.9%)  Banking sector players Sampath Bank and Hatton National Bank were seen among the top slots of the turnover list. The latter gained investor interest with its earnings growth (+32% YoY, +11% QoQ) as it saw an intra-day high at LKR134.00 (+1.7%) whilst the former witnessed active participation closing with an appreciation of 0.6% for the day at LKR156.00. Both counters impacted the S&P SL20 index’s slide to the green during trading hours with their respective weightages being 7.27% and 5.63% before the index closed with a marginal dip.

"Renewed participation was seen in Colombo Dockyard with majority of its volumes traded at a stagnant price of LKR190.00. An on-board transaction of 25k shares at LKR190.00. Dialog Axiata regained interest during the final trading hour registering 2 blocks of c.1.2 mn shares in total at LKR6.00 pushing up the turnover beyond the LKR200 mn mark.

 "Liquid counter Piramal Glass which witnessed some foreign selling yesterday saw 3 blocks amounting to 175k shares across the board being dealt at LKR6.00 before closing flat at LKR5.30. Further Power and Energy sector penny stock Panasian Power recorded several sizeable blocks across the board," Softlogic Equity Research said.

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