Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stocks at one-week high led by blue-chips

COLOMBO (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s stock market gained on Friday for the second day led by heavyweights and bluechips while retail speculative buying continued as the bourse recovered from near oversold territory, while the rupee edged up before closing flat.

The country’s main share index closed 0.53 per cent or 35.64 points firmer at 6,783.55. It hit a two-month low on Wednesday. It is still Asia’s best performer with a return of 2.23 per cent on the year.

Top private lender Commercial Bank and market heavyweight John Keells Holdings rose 3.6 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, helping the overall index gain.

The bourse witnessed a foreign outflow of Rs. 11.6 million on Thursday, and thus far in 2011, offshore investors have sold 17 billion after a record 26.4 billion in 2010.

Sri Lanka’s banking sector pushed the market up.

Turnover was Rs. 2.4 billion ($ 25.4 million), in line with last year’s average of 2.4 billion, but less than this year’s 2.7 billion.

Friday’s total volume was 107.4 million, against a five-day average of 76.3 million. The 30-day and 90-day average trading volumes were 154.8 million and 142.3 million. Last year’s daily average was 67.9 million.

The rupee closed steady at 110.18/20 a dollar, but it edged up to 110.17 during trade as banks sold dollars to buy rupees due to low liquidity in the local currency, dealers said. Later, importer dollar demand balanced that out, leaving the rupee to close steady.

The Central Bank mopped up Rs. 9.1 billion from the market on Friday through a repo auction at 7.08 per cent.

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