Sri Lankan shares erased early losses to close at a more than six-month high on hopes of political stability after the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections and better corporate earnings in the April-June quarter, brokers said.
The main stock index edged up 0.1 percent, or 7.34 points, at 7,377.95 on Monday, its highest close since Jan. 28. The bourse has gained 6.6 percent in a month through Monday.
“Market recovered from the morning decline with gains in telecom shares and distillers,” said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
“With some selling pressure, there’ll be a bit of profit-taking here and there, but it may not last long.”
Distillers Company of Sri Lanka Plc gained 1.83 percent, while Dialog Axiata Plc rose 1.79 percent. The index was however dragged down by losses in Nestle Lanka Plc, which fell 1.77 percent, and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which lost 0.78 percent.
The index has been gaining since July 7 on expectation strong corporate earnings and political stability after the election would boost returns, analysts said.
Turnover stood at 1.3 billion rupees ($9.72 million) on Monday, more than this year’s daily average of 1.11 billion rupees. Foreign investors, who sold a net 12.4 million rupees worth equities on Monday, have offloaded a net 195.2 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.(Reuters)