Bourse soars to 3-month high; turnover tops Rs. 1 b

Thursday, 1 May 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares rose to their three-month peaks on Wednesday in high turnover as investors bought large caps such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc in small quantities. A lower interest rate regime helped the market, with turnover hitting a three-week high, though foreign investors sold the country’s risky assets. The country’s main stock index rose 0.6%, or 37.42 points, to 6,223.67, its highest since 31 January. The market gained 4.28% in April as some retail investors started buying risky assets in the face of low interest rates. “The market looks positive, interest rates are also coming down,” said a stockbroker. “Lower interest rates have helped the market gain in the past few weeks and we have seen activity across the board,” stockbrokers said. Last week the Central Bank kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows. The day’s turnover was Rs. 1.23 billion ($9.42 million), its highest since 9 April and more than this year’s daily average of Rs. 956.5 million. Shares of Union Bank of Colombo rose 0.47% to Rs. 21.50, while Ceylon Tobacco Company advanced 3.18% to Rs. 1,099.20. Aitken Spence rose 0.71% to Rs. 98.70. Offshore investors were net sellers of Rs. 55 million worth of stocks on Wednesday, extending the net foreign selling so far this year to Rs. 7.19 billion.