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Bourse near 1-month high on banks; rupee weaker

19 March 2013 03:28 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan stocks rose for a third straight session yesterday to a near one-month high as investors picked up bank shares, but turnover was low as many investors stayed away because of rising interest rates.

The main index ended 0.27 percent higher at 5,704.53, its highest close since February 22. Analysts said many domestic investors stayed on the sidelines as yields on Treasury bills rose for the second week on Wednesday even though the Central Bank kept its key policy rates unchanged for a third straight month.

Shares in the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, rose 1.79 percent to Rs.114, while Hatton National Bank PLC rose 2.42 percent to Rs.160.80.

Turnover was Rs.309.34 million ($2.45 million), well below this year's daily average of Rs.1.02 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs.5.9 million worth shares. They have been net buyers of Rs.3.76 billion worth shares this year.

The rupee ended weaker at 126.30/35 to the dollar from Friday's close of 126.10/20, due to importer dollar demand, dealers said.

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