Monday, December 24, 2012

Sri Lankan stocks edge up; turnover at 6-mo low on holiday

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's stock market inched higher on Monday but turnover slumped to a near six-month low ahead of holidays this week, while the rupee fell from an eight-month high due to importers buying dollars.

Colombo Stock Exchange's main index edged up 0.15 percent or 8.40 points to close at 5,524.89. Turnover fell to 101.3 million rupees ($797,600), compared to this year's daily average of 888.6 million rupees.

Stockbrokers said most investors were already on holiday, with both stock and money markets closed on Tuesday and Thursday for Christmas and a Buddhist religious holiday respectively.

Treasury bill yields eased by between 21 and 49 basis points at a weekly auction in line with a cut in interest rates by the central bank earlier this month.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 3.3 million rupees worth of shares, extending net foreign buying this year to 37.78 billion rupees.

The rupee fell from an 8-month high to finish at 127.00/10 to the dollar, edging down from Friday's close of 126.90/127.00. ($1 = 127.0000 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; editing by Patrick Graham)

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