Shares finish at over 5-month high; rupee flat

Sri Lankan shares rose for a fourth straight session to hit their highest close in over five months yesterday, led by a rally in beverage and banking stocks along with healthy purchases by
domestic investors.
The rupee ended flat as inward remittances offset importer dollar demand.
The country’s benchmark stock index ended 1.35 percent up at 5,872.89, its highest close since Feb. 20.
The bourse rose 2.76 percent during the week. It is still down about 4.26 percent so far this year.
The country’s stock market had a turnover of Rs.1.2 billion (US$6.81 million), nearly twice of this year’s daily average of about Rs. 615.5 million so far. Last year’s daily average came in at Rs.834 million.
Foreign investors sold a net Rs.187.4 million worth of shares on Friday; the year-to-date net buying stood at Rs.1.2 billion, index data showed.
Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores Plc jumped 19.1 percent, the country’s leading fixed line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 11.5 percent, Hatton National Bank Plc climbed 7.5 percent and Nestle Lanka Plc ended 4 percent higher. Meanwhile, the currency ended flat at 176.15/25 per dollar. The rupee fell 0.23 percent during the week but is up 3.66 percent
so far this year.
The Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged on July 11 as expected, after cutting them in May to support the economy as tourism and investment plummeted in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in April.
Foreign investors bought a net Rs.1.22 billion worth of government securities in the week ended July 17, but the market has seen a year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.18.46 billion, the Central Bank data showed. (Colombo) REUTERS:

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