Sri Lanka shares up on thin volumes, plantations rally

Nov 05, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shares continued their rise, Wednesday, on thin trading volumes with plantations stocks rallying on retail investor interest, but a full recovery of the market was likely to be slow, brokers said.

There was a single crossing of Chevron Lubricants Lanka of 182,500 shares done at 105 rupees.

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The All Share Price Index rose 1.74 percent (33.52 points) to 1,962.20 while the Milanka Price Index was up 2.58 percent (55.86 points) to 2,224.75. Turnover was 123 million rupees.

Chinthana Hatangala of Lanka Securities said any sustained recovery of the market was likely to be slow and that tomorrow’s government budget might give some direction.

“We can’t expect a short term recovery,” he said. “However, considering the way both indices had declined, we think there may be a slow recovery.”

He said Wednesday’s trading volumes were thin although there appeared to be some anticipation among investors that the election of Barack Obama as the new US leader might help with an economic recovery there.

“Also, retail investor interest was seen on plantations stocks,” Hatangala said. “Low grown tea, rubber and oil palm have a positive correlation with crude oil prices.”

Plantations shares had fallen along with crude oil prices but most shares gained in Wednesday’s trading..

Dialog Telekom closed up 50 cents at 7.75, John Keells Holdings went up 5.88 percent (four rupees) to close at 72 after hitting 74.75 rupees and Sri Lanka Telecom was up 75 cents at 42 rupees.