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Shares at one-week high, rupee steady

Aug 30, 2011 4:45:22 PM - www.ft.lk

(Reuters):  Sri Lanka’s stock market rose on Tuesday in high volume, helped by institutional buying of Ceylon Hotels Corporation and DFCC bank, while the rupee closed steady.

The island nation’s main share index rose 0.6 percent, or 41.94 points, to 6,879.29. It is the second-best performer in Asia this year, with a return of 3.7 percent, after Indonesia.
Ceylon Hotels Corporation, which accounted for a quarter of the day’s volume, jumped 7.1 percent to 34.50 rupees.  After the market closed, the hotel manager said one of its holding firms, Curlew (Pvt) Ltd., bought 29.9 million shares at Rs.35 to lift its stake to 70 percent from 52 percent.
DFCC, which contributed 22 percent of the day’s turnover, rose 3.2 percent to Rs. 135.80.     Gainers outperformed losers by 105 to 100, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Retail speculative trade on HVA foods and Singer Finance forced the regulator to impose the 10 percent price band with effect from 1 September to 7 September.
The bourse saw a foreign inflow of Rs. 8.8 m ($80,000). The day’s turnover was Rs.4.93 billion.     Tuesday’s total volume was 127.8 million shares, the highest since 19 August and compared with a five-day average of 77.2 million. Last year’s daily average was 67.9 million shares. The rupee ended flat at 109.89 per dollar after heavy importer demand as a state bank, through which the Central Bank usually directs the market, sold at 109.90, dealers said.     The stock and foreign exchange markets will be closed on Wednesday for Id-Ul-Fitr or Ramazan festival holiday. Normal trading will resume on Thursday.

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