COLOMBO, Sept 4 Sri Lankan stocks hit their
highest closing in more than three years on Thursday, led by
Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc and Nestle Lanka Plc
Analysts said low interest rates and continued foreign
buying into risky assets boosted sentiment.
The main stock index rose 0.19 percent, or 13.50
points, to close at 7,060.60, its highest close since June 14,
"Buying interest was seen in big-cap counters with continued
foreign purchase," said Dimantha Mathew, manager, research at
First Capital Equities (pvt) Ltd.
"Net foreign inflow will provide sufficient cushion for the
index to stay above the 7,000 mark."
The index has gained nearly 19.41 percent so far this year.
The bourse has been in an overbought region since July. The
Relative Strength Index, a momentum indicator tracked by
chartists, was at 76.928 on Thursday, Thomson Reuters data
Stocks are deemed "overbought" above the 70-mark, which
tends to signal a reversal in the near term.
Commercial Bank of Ceylon, the country's biggest listed
lender by market capitalisation, led gains with a rise of 0.67
percent at 151 rupees, while Nestle Lanka rose 1.21 percent to
John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.16 percent to
After market hours on Wednesday, Fitch Ratings downgraded
John Keells' National Long-Term Rating to 'AA+(lka)' from
Exchange turnover was 1.63 billion rupees ($12.52 million),
more than this year's daily average of 1.2 billion rupees.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 405.2 million rupees
worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows
to 8.95 billion rupees.
The central bank did not offer 91-day t-bills at the weekly
auction on Wednesday after it rejected all bids in the last two
auctions, while yields on the 182-day and the 364-day treasury
bills held steady for the third time.
(1 US dollar = 130.1800 Sri Lankan rupee)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)