Sri Lanka shares close up 1.9-pct; rupee weakens

Apr 17, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares closed up 1.9 percent Friday, supported by retail interest on large cap stocks, while the rupee weakened to 116.00 levels of state bank buying, dealers said. The rupee closed 116.05/15 against the US dollar, after opening stronger at 115.75/80 levels.

State banks were on the buying side with deals concluded as high as 116.10 rupees, dealers said.

The All Share Price Index of the Colombo stock exchange rose 1.97 percent (33.31 points) to end at 1,725.29 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks went up 2.37 percent (42.16 points) to close at 1,824.63.

“Retail investor continued to accumulate some high-cap stocks to capitalize on a possible market upturn over the next few weeks, with the war coming to an end,” said Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers.

“Mainly investors are focusing on heavily discounted stocks.”

Turnover was 75.1 million rupees.

Chevron Lubricants Lanka Limited, the Sri Lankan subsidiary of U.S. petroleum giant Chevron gained 4.75 rupees to close at 114.00.

Hayleys gained three rupees to close at 93.00 on razor thin volumes.

Fixed line Sri Lanka Telecom gained two rupees to close at 38, while Dialog Telekom a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia was up 25 cents, to close at 5.25.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings which has business interest in transport, finance, retail, property development and food processing sectors gained 75 cents to close at 64.00.