Shares gain as John Keells leads

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks rose on Monday, led by diversified shares such as John Keells Holdings PLC, but foreign investors sold risky assets in an overbought market. The main stock index rose 0.42%, or 25.63 points, to end at 6,156.68. “We see positive sentiment and retail investors are gradually coming in to the market,” a stockbroker said. “The fall in interest rates and the Singapore roadshow should help the market to sustain the gains.” Officials from the Bourse and the Securities and Exchange Commission along with some top company officials and brokers are in Singapore for a roadshow to attract more foreign funds. Shares of market heavyweight and top conglomerate John Keells Holdings rose 1.97% to Rs. 242.70. The market has gained 3.56% in the last eight sessions, which analysts attributed to the Central Bank’s interest rate cut on 2 January and the recent fall in T-bill yields. The index has been in an overbought region since 7 January, Thomson Reuters data showed. It has risen 3.69% so far this year after a 4.8% gain in 2013 after having fallen in the previous two years. The day’s turnover was Rs. 675.8 million ($ 5.17 million), below last year’s daily average of about Rs. 828.4 million. Foreign investors were net sellers for the second straight session on Monday, selling Rs. 46.9 million worth of shares. But they have been net buyers of Rs. 591.9 million in shares so far this year after buying Rs. 22.88 billion of stocks last year.