Shares down on profit-taking in thin volume

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s stock market edged down yesterday as investors booked profits in large-cap stocks amid thin turnover and trading volume, traders said.

The main share index fell 0.72 per cent or 55.30 points to 7,617.19. It hit a record closing high of 7,811.82 on 14 February.

Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 23 million on Monday, extending the total net foreign outflow to Rs. 6.2 billion in 2011, after selling a record net 26.4 billion in 2010.

The bourse has still been Asia’s best performer with a 14.8 per cent gain in 2011 after being in the region’s top spot with a 96 per cent return last year.

Turnover was Rs. 2.3 billion ($ 20.4 million), less than last year’s average of Rs. 2.4 billion and this year’s daily average of Rs. 3.9 billion.

Traded share volume was 56.9 million, against a five-day average of 73.9 million. The 30-day and 90-day average trading volumes were 158.9 million and 68.3 million respectively. Last year’s daily average volume was 68.9 million.

The bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16.6, one of the highest among emerging markets, compared with 13 in Asian markets and 11.9 in global emerging markets, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.

The rupee edged up to 110.87/110.89 a dollar from Friday’s 110.92/110.93 as the Central Bank reduced its dollar trading band by 5 cents to 110.30/110.90, dealers said.