Reuters: Sri Lanka’s stock market narrowly edged up on Monday from a seven-week low, ending four straight falls as investors snapped up battered shares though a liquidity shortage and global worries cooled sentiments, dealers said.
The island nation’s main share index closed 0.02 per cent or 1.42 points up at 6,736.02, from the lowest since 28 July. It is still Asia’s best performer with a return of 1.51 per cent on the year.
Traders said some market players tried to boost the trend by buying large-cap shares at higher prices in small quantities, though they failed to sustain an early gain of 0.7 per cent.
Food and soap manufacturer Harischandra jumped 50 per cent to Rs. 2,400 with only 100 shares trading.
The day’s turnover was Rs. 1.43 billion ($ 13 million), less than last year’s average of 2.4 billion and this year’s 2.7 billion.
The bourse witnessed a foreign outflow of Rs. 43.9 million on Monday, and thus far in 2011, offshore investors have sold 16.6 billion after a record 26.4 billion in 2010.
On Monday, Asian shares and the euro fell before recovering as investors reacted cautiously to reports that European leaders were working on new ways to stop the fallout from the euro zone sovereign debt crisis.
The diversified and telecommunication sectors pushed the market up with losers and gainers nearly at par at 102 and 101 respectively, Thomson Reuters data showed. Monday’s total volume was 88.8 million, against a five-day average of 118.2 million. The 30-day and 90-day average trading volumes were 160.1 million and 143.1 million. Last year’s daily average was 67.9 million.
The rupee closed flat at 110.29/110.30 a dollar amid heavy importer dollar demand which pushed the currency to 110.35 during trading but closed steady as a state bank sold the greenback at a flat rate of 110.30, dealers said.
The Central Bank mopped up Rs. 23.52 billion from the market on Monday through a repo auction at 7.08 per cent.