Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sri Lanka stocks edge up on large caps

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's stock market recovered from a two-week low on Wednesday led by large caps including John Keells Holdings PLC Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Nestle Lanka PLC.

The main share index closed 0.43 percent, or 25.15 points firmer, at 5,825.9, edging up from its lowest close since Jan 16.

Commercial Bank gained 0.86 percent to 105.80 rupees, while John Keells rose 2.04 percent to 229.70 rupees before it posted 8 percent gain in its December quarter earnings.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco rose 1.74 percent to 855 rupees while Nestle Lanka rose 2.91 percent to 1600.

Foreign outflow hit 1.43 billion rupees ($11.30 million), the highest since Nov. 19, which stockbrokers attributed to an exit of a Japan-based foreign fund selling shares in top lender Commercial Bank.

"This fund has been selling Commercial Bank shares since last week," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity without elaborating the reason for the selling.

The day's turnover was 2.67 billion rupees, well above the daily average of 1.11 billion so far this year.

The rupee closed a tad stronger at 126.48/55 to the dollar from Tuesday's close of 126.65/70, on dollar inflows into government securities and stock market, traders said. ($1 = 126.6000 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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