Stocks end at two-month high on New Year cheer

Saturday, 12 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: The share index ended at its two-month high on Friday ahead of a long weekend, helped by foreign inflows and telecom shares. The main stock index gained 0.28%, or 17.29 points, to 6,092.34, its highest close since 11 February. Many investors were in a holiday mood as the stock and currency markets will be closed for three days next week including Monday and Tuesday due to the Sinhala-Tamil New Year, followed by Good Friday next week. The day’s turnover was Rs. 540.6 million ($ 4.14 million), less than this year’s daily average of Rs. 984 million. The Bourse saw net foreign inflows of Rs. 182.8 million, though foreigners have sold a net Rs. 8.32 billion worth of shares so far this year. Top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom rose 3.45% to Rs. 48. Analysts said the outlook is still positive due to prevailing lower interest rates. Brokers say the $ 19.53 billion worth stock market is gradually attracting investors who are looking for higher returns as the deposit rates in banks and financial companies are not beyond 6-6.5%. Analysts said foreign outflow would continue if Sri Lanka does not cooperate in an international probe conducted by the Office of United nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights on the country’s alleged war crimes. The Foreign Minister on Monday said the country would not cooperate with the inquiry.