Sri Lankan shares edge up; turnover rises to 12-wk high

COLOMBO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended slightly stronger on Tuesday after posting their lowest close in more than two weeks in the previous session, although concerns about rising interest rates continued to hurt investor sentiment.

Turnover rose to a 12-week high at 2.41 billion rupees ($15.93 million), around four times this year’s daily average of 670.8 million rupees, boosted by a stake sale in Kotmale Holdings Plc.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.2 percent at 6,134.28, after closing at its lowest since Feb. 9 on Monday.

"Crossings pushed the turnover," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

"Investors are still worried about economic conditions and rising interest rates."

Kotmale shares closed unchanged, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc jumped 1.64 percent and Ceylon Cold Stores Plc rose 4.28 percent.

Foreign investors, who have been net buyers of 487.7 million rupees worth of equities so far this year, net sold 93.02 million rupees of shares on Tuesday.

Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more than four-year high since October, while the central bank has kept key policy rates on hold.

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