COLOMBO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s stock market .CSE on Thursday rose for a sixth straight session, with the construction .CSECE and diversified holdings .CSEDV sector indices hitting record highs.
The market rose 1.27 percent to hit 2,815.01 points, its highest since April 30, 2007, before closing 0.42 percent or 11.65 points firmer at 2791.44, Reuters data showed.
Turnover hit 1.29 billion rupees ($11.2 million), more than twice of last year’s daily average of 464 million rupees. It had hit over 1 billion rupees for last three straight sessions.
The market is one of the best performing stock markets in the world in 2009 with an average return of 85.7 percent so far. It has risen 46.3 percent since the end of the war in mid-May.
“Positive sentiments on better economic growth prospects are driving the market,” said Shahidheen Hamzi, a research analyst at CT Smith Research.
The market has risen 10.6 percent in the last 13 sessions led by optimism over a $2.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan, big foreign buying of government securities and a sovereign credit rating outlook upgrade.
Declining interest rates, rising tourist arrivals, improved liquidity in the bourse, and a positive investment climate after the war’s end have helped the tock market to attract more investors, analysts said.
Post-war tourist arrivals in June-August have surged 24 percent due to the end of the 25-year war that had kept visits down for a long time and the industry expects 500,000 tourists this year. [ID:nCOL347464]
Analysts and traders said investors sold hotel and travel sector shares on Thursday to book profits, after the recent rally, in which the sector share .CSEHT hit a record high.
Conglomerate Aitken Spence SPEN.CM, which operates a number of city hotels and resorts, jumped 13.96 percent to a record high of 798 rupees, calculated on a weighted average.
Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings JKH.CM, which operates two city hotels and seven resorts across the island, rose 1.05 percent to 144.25 rupees, while shares in Hemas Holdings HHL.CM closed 1.77 percent up at 129.50 rupees.
Ship builder Colombo Dockyard DOCK.CM jumped 5.3 percent to 168.50 rupees on expected boom in post-war shipping industry.
Lender Housing Development Finance Corporation HDFC.CM, jumped 25.6 percent to 170.50 rupees. Traders said there was no fundamental reason for the rise.
The rupee LKR= closed flat at 114.80/85 a dollar.
Dealers said the central bank mopped up 3 billion rupees at 10 percent to reduce excess liquidity in the market.
The interbank lending rate or call money rate CLIBOR edged down to 9.819 percent from Wednesday’s 9.849 percent.
For secondary market rates, please see <0#LKBMK=>. (Editing by Bryson Hull)