Bourse tops 3-year closing high on banking, diversified shares

Thursday, 11 September 2014 02:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks closed at their highest in more than three years on Wednesday, led by diversified shares such as John Keells Holdings Plc and banking stock Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, as low interest rates and continued buying by foreign investors into risky assets boosted investor sentiment. The main stock index rose 0.56%, or 39.81 points, to close at 7,163.25, its highest close since 13 June 2011. “There’ll be some correction down the line but the bull run will continue with the positive sentiment,” said a stockbroker asking not to be named. The index has gained nearly 21.15% so far this year. The Bourse has been in an overbought region since July. The Relative Strength Index, a momentum indicator tracked by chartists, was at 84.016 on Wednesday, Thomson Reuters data showed. Stocks are deemed “overbought” above the 70-mark, signalling a reversal in the near term. Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc led the gains in the overall index with a rise of 1.17% at Rs. 259.10, while Commercial Bank of Ceylon, the country’s biggest listed lender by market capitalisation, rose 1.39% to Rs. 160.20. Exchange turnover was Rs. 2.06 billion ($15.82 million), more than this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.21 billion. Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs. 360.7 million on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows to Rs. 9.82 billion. Treasury bill rates fell further by one basis point at Wednesday’s auction for the 182-day and 364-day maturities. The Central Bank did not offer 91-day T-bills at the weekly auction on 3 September after it rejected all bids in the previous two auctions. It held the 182-day and the 364-day Treasury bills steady during the previous three auctions.

 Rupee falls on importer dollar demand

Reuters: The rupee fell on Wednesday as importer dollar demand outpaced inward remittances and greenback sales by exporters, dealers said. The rupee ended at 130.25/29 per dollar compared with Tuesday’s close of 130.22/24. “The rupee was weaker on continued importer dollar demand, possibly for oil bills, and we saw some foreign bond holders exiting too,” said a currency dealer asking not to be named. Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 3.45 billion ($ 26.50 million) worth of Government securities in the week ended 3 September, official data showed. “There was mixed interest... While some exited, some were looking into,” said another currency dealer. Dealers are also waiting to see whether the proceeds from National Savings Bank’s (NSB) $ 250 million bond sale will be taken up by the market or get absorbed by the Central Bank. A Central Bank official said the bank would absorb the proceeds. “It is not going to the market, it is likely that CBSL will get the dollars,” the official said on condition of anonymity.