Sri Lanka stocks edge up to over 1-wk high on telecoms, inflows

COLOMBO, June 15 (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s stock index rose to a more than one-week high on Monday, led by telecom shares and on foreign inflows, but turnover was lower as many investors were cautious about risky assets ahead of a parliamentary election.

The main stock index ended 0.25 percent up, or 17.69 points, at 7,078.97, its highest close since June 5.

"Sellers are not that desperate, they are holding on," said a stockbroker asking not to be named. "The political uncertainty remains with the delay in announcing the elections."

President Maithripala Sirisena’s government has said it would dissolve parliament once some crucial reforms, including an electoral bill, are passed, but has yet to fix a date for the election.

Monday’s turnover was 730.8 million rupees ($5.45 million), well below this year’s daily average of about 1.1 billion rupees.

The market saw net foreign inflows of 119.8 million rupees ($894,000), but the previous 14 sessions have seen net foreign outflows from equities at 2.28 billion rupees. The bourse, however, has seen net inflows of 3.66 billion rupees into equities so far this year.

Analysts said foreign investors have been selling shares amid expectations the U.S. would hike key interest rates sooner than expected.

Shares in leading mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata Plc rose 2.7 percent, while No.1 fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 0.67 percent.

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