Bourse’s fortunes pick-up in the wake of IMF deal speculation

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The CSE gained in mid-day trade yesterday after slipping for five straight sessions but the market moved up as margin-selling eased amid speculation that an IMF deal would be signed on Wednesday, a market analyst said.

The stock market showed some positive sentiment during the day and it mainly rallied round plantation sector counters, which showed gains among almost all companies during the day. The chief reasons being the rupee depreciation against the dollar and the fact that flowery grade tea fetches more than Rs 10,000 per kilo gram, stock market analysts said.

Both indices showed upward movement. The main All- Share Price index gained 1.55 per cent or 132 points to reach 8,867.86. The most liquid S&P SL20 index gained 1.18 per cent or 30.6 points to reach 2,866.70. Turnover stood at Rs 1.8 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in Expolanka Holdings, which crossed 500,000 shares to the tune of Rs 110 million; its shares traded at Rs 220.

In the retail market seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 153 million (709,000 shares traded), Kotagala Plantations Rs 104.5 million (11.1 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 92.5 million (55,000 shares traded), CTC Holdings Rs 82.5 million (500,000 shares traded), Watawala Plantations Rs 73.2 million (107,000 shares traded), Lankem Development Rs 68.4 million (2.5 million shares traded) and Agalawatte Plantations Rs 61.1 million (1.3 million shares traded). During the day 81.6 million share volumes changed hands in 2000 share transactions.

Since August 16, the stock market has seen net buying of over Rs. 850 million. On Friday, CSE had a high net inflow of Rs. 405 million. If the trend continues, August might finish with a high net inflow. Year-to-date, however, there has been a net outflow of Rs. 385 million, far lower than the Rs. 1.2 billion in mid-August, thanks to recent net buying.

Yesterday the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 357.95 and the selling rate Rs 368.89.

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