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Bourse steady at 1-1/2-year high; Keells leads


9 May 2013 02:58 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Shares rose for the fifth straight session yesterday to hit a new 1-1/2-year high, led by conglomerate John Keells Holdings despite foreign outflows as hopes of a rate cut at the Central Bank’s policy meeting later this week boosted local investor appetite for stocks.

The main stock index edged up 0.14 percent, or 8.42 points, to 6,210.10, the highest close since November 14, 2011.

“One of the main reasons is that investors are expecting a rate cut. A lot of retailers and local high net worth investors are active,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

Analysts said they also expect a rate cut at Friday’s Central Bank May Monetary policy announcement.

Shares have been on a rising trend on expectations of a fall in interest rates after Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and the Central Bank said interest rates could ease in May-June.

The market has gained 7.5 percent since the treasury secretary’s comments on April 9.

The International Monetary Fund, however, said on Thursday Sri Lanka must not loosen monetary conditions as inflation remains a concern, even though prices had risen at a slower pace in April than in the previous month.

Shares in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings rose 2.08 percent to a record high of Rs.270 a share, Reuters data showed. The turnover was Rs.1.46 billion (US $ 11.55 million), more than this year’s daily average of Rs.1.01 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs.92.1 million of shares, the first outflow in the last eight sessions.

However, they have been net buyers of Rs.9.12 billion so far this year. Last year, the bourse saw a net inflow of US $ 303 million.

The rupee ended at 126.05/08 per dollar, firmer from Tuesday’s close of 126.30/37, on exporter dollar sales amid a tight rupee liquidity in the market, currency dealers said.


  Comments - 1

  • RASIKA Sunday, 12 May 2013 08:34 AM

    SUPERB DETAILS thanks all of us.

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