Stock at 2-month low; rupee retreats from 23-month high

Friday, 26 November 2010 02:43 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka's stock market slipped on Thursday to an over two-month low on a liquidity shortage due to a credit crunch, while the rupee currency pulled back from a 23-month high on importer dollar demand.

The main share index fell 48.8 points or 0.76 percent to 6,413.32 after gaining over 2 percent in the early trade to its lowest since 17 September. Asia's best performer in 2010, with a 89.4 percent gain, has fallen 11 percent since hitting a record high on 4 October, mainly due to a lack of credit in the market.

The bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 20.4 compared with all-Asia's 13.3 and global emerging market's 12.3, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. The CSE's 14-day relative strength index is at 39.7, towards the lower neutral limit of 30.

The bourse saw trading volume of 298 million shares on Thursday due to the debut of Hydro Power, which closed at Rs. 15.70. Average trading volume in the past five days and 30 days was 52 million and 44.6 million respectively, compared to a 90-day average volume of 70.7 million.

Foreign investors have sold a net Rs.28.1 billion in shares this year, but on Thursday bought a net Rs.71.5 million. Turnover was Rs.1.4 billion ($12.6 million), more than two times the 2009 daily average of Rs.593.6 million.

The rupee closed weaker at 111.35/38 a dollar from Wednesday's 23-month high of 111.28/30, on importer demand for dollars, currency dealers said.