from Arab News..
May 18, 2013 | Reuters
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan shares rose to hit a new 18-month high on foreign buying, with market heavyweight John Keells Holdings leading the rally, while the rupee ended weaker on corporate dollar demand.
The main stock index rose 1.49 percent, or 93.70 points, to close at 6,380.70, its highest since Nov. 4, 2011.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 335.3 million rupees ($ 2.67 million) of shares, extending net foreign inflows this year to 11.19 billion rupees.
“The market is up on the foreign buying,” a stockbroker said.
“With the market moving up, institutional investors are also aggressively getting into their positions.”
A fall in interest rates of fixed income assets has also helped boost sentiment in the sharemarket as retail investors, who dominate the island nation’s bourse in terms of volume, shift to equities from government securities, dealers said.
Yields in treasury bills fell in the range of 29 basis points to 45 bps on Wednesday after the central bank cut key policy rates by 50 bps last Friday, following some of its regional peers, to boost economic growth amid subdued demand.
Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 2.48 percent to 284.90 rupees, their all-time closing high.
Market turnover was 1.4 billion rupees, more than this year’s daily average of 1.04 billion rupees.
The rupee ended weaker at 126.30/35 from Thursday’s close of 125.80/85 on corporate-related dollar outflows, currency dealers said.
Link to the article: http://www.arabnews.com/news/451954