Sri Lanka stocks close 0.3-pct higher, rupee steady

Sept 27, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka stocks closed higher for the second consecutive day, up 0.39 percent and the rupee ended slightly weaker, brokers and dealer said. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index closed 22.46 points higher at 5,808.62, up 0.39 percent and the S&P SL20 closed 9.98 points lower at 3,209.11, down 0.31 percent.

Turnover was down to 409.14 million rupees on Friday from 902.23 million rupees a day earlier with stocks of 134 firms gaining against 48 losers.

Foreigners bought 110 million rupees worth of shares down from 267.34 million rupees the previous day and sold 18.5 million rupees worth of shares, down from 34 million rupees.

Stock exchange provisional data showed that Lanka Orix Leasing grip which closed 3.70 rupees higher at 59.00 rupees and Distilleries closed 5.80 rupees higher at 189.00 rupees contributed most to the index gain.

CTC closed 9.10 rupees higher at 1,049.70 rupees and Sri Lanka Telecom closed 80 cents higher at 39.80 rupees.

Commercial Leasing and Finance closed 20 cents higher at 4.00 rupees.

JKH closed 3.80 rupees lower at 218.90 rupees and Carson Cumberbatch closed 13.70 rupees lower at 376.20 rupees.

Nestle closed 41.20 rupees lower at 1,949.00 rupees and Asian Hotels and Properties closed 1.20 rupees lower at 71.90 rupees.

John Keells PLC closed 7.40 rupees lower at 71.60 rupees.

Commercial Bank closed 40 cents lower at 117.30 rupees.

CIFL, closing flat at 1.40 rupees, saw 3.77 million shares change hands.

Trading in Touchwood, a troubled forestry company was halted pending clarification of media reports over a shareholder meeting.

The rupee weakened to 132.00/05 against the US dollar on moderate importer demand in late trading, after opening at 131.90/131.00 rupees.

The central bank called an auction to sell down 10 billion rupees of its Treasuries holdings to withdraw a surge of liquidity from recent dollar purchases, but rejected all bids.

A sell-down of central bank held Treasuries withdraws liquidity generated from dollars purchases (a sterilized forex purchase) helps build up foreign reserves and strengthen the currency by reducing future imports and credit.