Sri Lanka shares end up 1.12-pct

July 19, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday, lifted by speculative buying mainly by retailers with brokers urging investors to be more careful and focus on fundamentals as company earnings were improving.

Some sectors remained attractive like plantations, manufacturing, banks and finance, he said.

Ceylon & Foreign Trades was the day’s highest gainer, closing at 50.25, up 54 percent.

Blue Diamonds non-voting shares shot up 50 percent or 80 cents to close at 2.40 rupees while its ordinary voting shares closed 34 percent or 1.20 rupees up at 4.70 rupees The All Share Price Index closed at 4,729.26, up 1.12 percent (52.37 points) while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.20 percent (63.84 points) to close at 5,380.06.

Turnover was 2.36 billion rupees, according to stock exchange provisional figures.

Brokers said 50,000 shares of National Development Bank changed hands in a private negotiated off-the-floor deal at 240 rupees a share. NDB closed at 240 rupees, down a rupee.

The day’s trading, which ended with a net foreign outflow of funds, was dominated by retailers although there was some institutional activity.

“Trading turnover was healthy compared with last week but it was more ‘penny stocks’ and low value shares that moved today,” said Rakshitha Perera, research manager at Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers.

“We’ve seen some good quarterly results starting last Friday,” said Perera. “So investors should be a bit more cautious when buying speculative stocks and look for stocks with fundamental value.”

Even though the market had hit a new high, there were still stocks trading at attractive price-to-earnings multiples, he added.