Stocks gain 1.40 per cent within first hour of trading; foreign buying interest continues

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

Stocks gained 1.40 per cent within the first hour of trading yesterday, continuing the gaining streak for the third consecutive session because foreign investors are now interested in buying stocks due their comparatively attractive prices, especially blue chip counters, market analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved up. The All- Share Price Index rose by 108 points and S and P SL20 was up by 29.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 4.7 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expack Corrugated Cartons, which crossed 15 million shares to the tune of Rs 240 million, its shares traded at Rs 16, JKH’s 800,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 105.9 million, its shares traded at Rs 133, Royal Ceramic one million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 38.5 million, its shares fetched Rs 38 and Melstacorp 400,000 shares traded at Rs 20.8 million; its shares traded at Rs 59.50.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 735 million (2.9 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 367 million (1.5 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 210 million (2.5 million shares traded), CIC Holdings Rs 207 million (2.3 million shares traded), CIC Holdings (Non- Voting) Rs 202 million (2.9 million shares traded), Sampath Bank Rs 157 million (4.9 million shares traded) and Royal Ceramic Rs 153 million (3.6 million shares traded). During the day 260 million share volumes changed hands in 39000 share transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced dollar buying rate was Rs 358.78 and selling rate Rs 369.61.

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