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Sri Lankan shares close slightly higher in dull trade

COLOMBO, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan stocks ended marginally higher on Monday in lacklustre trading as bargain-hunting investors picked up battered shares, but political instability and a rise in interest rates capped gains, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.1 percent higher at 6,140.54. It hit a near 10-month closing low on Wednesday, and lost 0.5 percent last week, its second straight weekly decline.

Biggest listed lender Commercial bank of Ceylon Plc rose 2.2 percent while Colombo Cold Stores Plc rose 1.3 percent.

"We saw some bargain-hunting, but there were no big trades," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Foreign investors net bought 5.95 million rupees ($39,614) worth of equities on Monday, but they have net sold 1.63 billion rupees worth shares so far this year.

Turnover stood at 179.3 million rupees, its lowest since Jan. 18.

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