Bourse at 8-week high on buying in large caps

Friday, 18 October 2013 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks edged up to their highest level in nearly eight weeks on Thursday, led by thin trading in shares of large caps such as Ceylon Tobacco Co PLC, but John Keells Holdings PLC helped to boost turnover. The main share index edged up 0.24%, or 14.53 points, to 5,976.51, its highest since 22 August. However, John Keells Holdings ended in red. It accounted for two-thirds of the day’s turnover of Rs. 545.7 million ($4.16 million), which was less than this year’s daily average of Rs. 875 million. Keells voting slipped 0.09% to Rs. 217.30 a share, while the conglomerate’s rights fell 1.08% to Rs. 62.10. Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Co rose 1.81% to Rs. 1,150. Foreign investors were net sellers for the first time in eight sessions, selling of Rs. 27.9 million worth of shares. Foreigners have been net buyers of Rs. 22.14 billion worth of shares so far this year. The Central Bank cut key policy interest rates on Tuesday to spur economic growth, just three weeks after the International Monetary Fund advised it to hold rates steady. Stockbrokers expect the rate cut to give impetus to a sluggish stock exchange. Both the currency and the stock markets will remain closed on Friday for a holiday and trading will resume on Monday.