Bourse rebounds to near-4-week high

Thursday, 6 November 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks rose on Wednesday to hit a near-four-week high led by banks and helped by low interest rates and better earning expectations. Sri Lanka’s main stock index closed up 0.51%, or 37.57 points, at 7,358.46, its highest close since 9 October. “Earnings are quite healthy. We expect buying interest to continue amid lower interest rate regime,” said Dimantha Mathew, Manager, Research, at First Capital Equities Ltd. Shares in top listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, which led the overall gain, rose 1.89% to Rs. 172.80, while Lanka IOC Plc rose 8.42% to Rs. 59.20. Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which reported a 29% year-on-year rise in September quarter net profit on Tuesday, rose 0.75% to Rs. 255. Foreign investors were net buyers of Rs. 547.6 million ($4.18 million) worth of shares, extending the net foreign inflow so far this year to Rs. 14.83 billion, exchange data showed. Wednesday’s turnover was Rs. 2.1 billion, well above this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.39 billion. Analysts expect trading to be choppy in the near-term due to the revised presidential poll schedule in January and a possible bottoming out of interest rates. The country’s Central Bank has kept key policy rates steady for a ninth straight month, saying private sector credit growth was picking up and long-term lending rates were adjusting downwards.