Bourse rises to over one month high; Rupee strengthens

Saturday, 23 March 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lankan stocks gained for a seventh straight session on Friday, led by foreign buying in blue chips, but stockbrokers said local investors remained cautious over rising interest rates and a U.N. resolution on investigating war crimes.

The main index edged up 0.09 percent, or 5.05 points, to 5,768.88, its highest close since Feb. 18.

“Retailers are not back because of the high interest rates and local investors are concerned over the U.N. resolution, though it is too early to say what kind of impact it will have on the market,” said a stockbroker on condition of anonymity.

The United Nations urged Sri Lanka on Thursday to carry out credible investigations into killings and disappearances during its nearly 30-year civil war, especially in the final stages in 2009.

After the market closed, the director general of Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission said that he had tendered his resignation to take effect from May 27. No specific reason was given.

Analysts said local investors had stayed on the sidelines as yields in T-bills rose.

Yields on treasury bills rose for the third straight week at a Wednesday’s auction even though the central bank kept its key policy rates unchanged for a third month in a row.,

Shares in leading fixed line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom rose 2.14 percent to 42.90 rupees and No.1 mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata PLC rose 1.11 percent to 9.10 rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 153.8 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 4.44 billion rupees ($34.95 million) worth of shares.

Turnover was 1.07 billion rupees, just above this year’s daily average of 1 billion rupees.

The rupee ended firmer at 126.70/75 to the dollar, up from Thursday’s close of 126.98/127.00, on dollar sales by banks, helping the local currency to recover from early fall of 127.05, dealers said.