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Hotel shares push Sri Lanka bourse up; rupee falls

[Reuters, Friday, 16 April 2010 18:40 No Comment]

Sri Lanka’s shares rose on Friday led by hotel shares on the anticipation of a post-war tourism expansion, while the rupee closed weaker on importer demand for dollars.

The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.28 percent or 11.04 points firmer at 3,966.87. It hit an all-time high of 3,981.67 points on Monday.

The hotel sector index .CSEHT hit a record high led by a 6.57 percent gain in John Keels Hotels KHL.CM.

Analysts said this week’s New Years’ holiday had kept most investors away from the market, and they anticipated a rise next week once investors return.

Politics should also settle down next week. Two electorates where results were thrown out because of violence at the April 8 parliamentary elections will vote again on Tuesday, and the new parliament is expected to sit for the first time on Thursday.

Trading in both the currency and share markets were lacklustre as most companies have not reopened since the holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The day’s turnover was 1.1 billion rupees ($9.6 million), below the 2010 average daily volume of more than 1.5 billion rupees. The bourse is still up 17.2 percent so far this year, making it Asia’s best-performing market.

The rupee currency LKR= closed weaker at 113.97/114.00 a dollar from Thursday’s close of 113.88/93 due to importer demand and a state bank, through which the central bank directs the market, raising its dollar trading band by 5 cents to 113.60/114.00, currency dealers said.

It hit a 15-month high 113.60 a dollar during the trading on Monday.

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