Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.6-pct

COLOMBO, Dec 03, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks ended firmer Wednesday led by gains in John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank and the two top telecommunications firms.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,274.43, up 43.85 points while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, closed at 4,066.92, up 41.79 or 1.04 percent.

Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees.

JKH rose three percent to close at 253.80 rupees, up 7.60, while Commercial Bank ended 2.6 percent up at 169.30 rupees, gaining 4.30 rupees.

Dialog Axiata, the island’s biggest mobile firm, closed 30 cents or 2.3 percent up at 13.10 rupees while Sri Lanka Telecom, the biggest fixed line operator, rose 70 cents or 1.5 percent to close at 48 rupees.

The market, which is up about 22 percent this year, became volatile two weeks ago after a political crisis erupted with a snap presidential poll being announced for January 8, 2015 followed by a split in the ruling coalition.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena quit on November 21 with other ministers to announce he would challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the common candidate in a coalition of opposition parties who closed ranks aiming to prevent Rajapaksa’s bid for an unprecedented third term.

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