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Stock market at 2 week high on retail buying

Sep 5, 2011 3:41:16 PM - www.ft.lk
  • Speculative retail buying boosts turnover, liquidity
  • Foreign funds net sellers of Rs. 181.4m
  • Rupee down on importer dlr demand

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s stock market hit a two-week high on Monday in the highest volume of the year on demand from retail investors, while the rupee edged down on importer demand for dollars.

The island nation’s main share index rose 0.68 percent or 47.42 points to 6,998.03, its highest since 18 August.  It is Asia’s best performer in 2011, with a return of 5.46 percent.
Monday’s turnover was 4.43 billion Sri Lanka rupees ($40.3 million), more than last year’s average of 2.4 billion and this year’s 2.7 billion.
Total volume was a heady 715.2 million shares, a 2011 high, against a five-day average of 280.9 million.
The 30-day and 90-day average trading volumes were 133.6 million and 129.3 million. Last year’s daily average was 67.9 million.
A third successive day of speculative trading in jeweller Blue Diamonds drove its non-voting BLUEt.CM stock up about 65 percent and voting shares up 9.8 percent.
“Speculative stocks continued to attract investors. However, institutional or high-net-worth investor participation helped post a healthy turnover,” NDB Stockbroker said in an investor note.
Hotel and Banking shares pushed the market up, with gainers outperforming losers by 126 shares to 93, Thomson Reuters data showed.  
The bourse witnessed a foreign outflow of 181.4 million Sri Lanka rupees on Monday. So far in 2011, offshore investors have sold 10.68 billion rupees after a record 26.4 billion in 2010.
After the end of a long civil war, Sri Lanka’s bourse turned into Asia’s best performer in 2009 and 2010, gaining 124 percent and 96 percent.
The rupee fell to 110.09/10 a dollar from Friday’s close of 109.98/110.00, as the Central Bank widened the dollar trading band by 10 cents to 109.60/110.10 from 109.60/110.00 due to heavy importer demand for dollars, dealers said.

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