Traded turnover at the stock exchange in Nairobi fell by two thirds on Monday compared to the previous session, as investors took a break for the Christmas holiday, but the main indices rose after price gains on large industrial and construction stocks.
The turnover stood at Sh130 million on a volume of some 7.65 million shares, down from Sh390 million on 21.9 million shares traded on Friday, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) said in its daily markets report.
Analysts said that this week--which has only three trading sessions due to the Christmas and Boxing Day holidays-- is set to see low trading volumes right through to the New Year as many investors have taken their annual breaks.
"We anticipate low activity this week as most investors continue to stay out of the market for the holidays," said Genghis Capital analysts in a market report.
The NSE 20 share index shrugged off the low trading volumes to rise by 1.5 percent or 41.71 points to close at 2796, buoyed by share price gains on East Africa Breweries Ltd, BAT Kenya and Bamburi Cement.
Bamburi rose by a near maximum 9.9 percent or Sh13 to close the day at Sh145 per share, though on a thin traded volume of just 100 shares.
BAT was up 8.8 percent or Sh55 to close the day at Sh678 a share. It was boosted by foreign investor demand, where foreign buys accounted for 99 percent of activity on the stock.
EABL gained 2.7 percent on the day to close at Sh178, while Safaricom was also on the up, gaining 30 cents to close the session at Sh22.60.
These stocks helped grow investor wealth at the bourse--as measured through market capitalisation--by Sh30 billion to Sh2.108 trillion.
On the resumption of trading today, analysts expect that attention will shift to banking stocks, which have continued to see foreign investor selling in recent weeks.