Monday, January 21, 2013

Sri Lanka stocks slips from 3-mo high on correction, foreign selling

Jan 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's stock market ended marginally weaker on Monday, slipping off a three-month high, with top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom pulling down the index amid foreign selling.

The main share index closed 0.23 percent, or 13.75 points weaker, at 5,862.02, from its highest close since Oct. 3.

The market has been overbought since early this year with its 14-day relative index at 80.448 on Monday, well above the upper neutral range of 70, Reuters data showed.

"It's a technical correction. We still see optimism among investors due to declining interest rates," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

Shares in Sri Lanka Telecom fell 5.05 percent to 47 rupees in thin volume.

Yields in government securities have been falling due to foreign inflows into treasury bills and bonds in recent weeks.

Turnover on Monday was 899.87 million rupees ($7.11 million). Foreign investors were net sellers of 370.98 million rupees worth of shares, but have been net buyers of 110.15 million rupees this year. Sri Lanka last year enjoyed a record inflow of 38.63 billion rupees.

The rupee closed marginally weaker at 126.62/66 to the dollar from Friday's close of 126.55/60. ($1 = 126.5500 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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