Sri Lanka stocks end up 1.7-pct

COLOMBO, Dec 01, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks closed higher Monday as investors collected stocks whose prices had fallen in last week’s slump but lower turnover indicated continuing nervousness over the political crisis that triggered the fall.

The All Share Price Index rose 121.8 points to 7,275.68 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, closed at 4,040.67, up 69.55 points or 1.8 percent. Turnover was 984 million rupees.

"The market witnessed interest across the board with most sectors gaining at the close of the day," Bartleet Religare Securities said.

Foreign interest on construction firm Access Engineering continued with the stock topping the turnover and volumes lists and accounting for almost a quarter of the day’s relatively lower market turnover aided by a block deal.

The gains were led by index heavyweights like Commercial Bank which rose four percent to 165.00 rupees, John Keells Holdings, up 2.2 percent to 246.00 rupees, and Nestle which ended up 2.4 percent at 2,160.00 rupees, Lanka Securities said.

"Foreign investors closed the day as net buyers with a net inflow of 84 million rupees worth of equities," they said.

They noted that foreign investors have been net buyers since 05 November 2014 and the total net inflow during the past 18 sessions amounted to 6.2 billion rupees.

Stocks slumped last week after a split in the ruling party led by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena who quit on November 21 to announce he would challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the common opposition candidate, a day after Rajapaksa announced a snap presidential poll set for January 8.

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