Sri Lankan shares rise for second day on foreign investor buying

COLOMBO, March 29 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Wednesday, posting their highest close in nearly one week, helped by foreign investor buying and quarter-end window dressing, stockbrokers said.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.61 percent firmer at 6,021.54, its highest close since March 21.

It had closed at its lowest since March 15, 2016 on Monday after the central bank tightened its monetary policy on Friday by 25 basis points to contain high inflationary expectations.

Stockbrokers said rising interest rates have kept most investors on the sidelines. Yields on treasury bills rose 6-16 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday.

"Today, it was largely retail trade with some foreign trades," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 88.5 million rupees ($582,811.99) on Wednesday, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 4.38 billion rupees in equities.

Turnover stood at 388.5 million rupees, more than half of this year’s daily average of 710.6 million rupees.

As of Tuesday’s close, the index had lost 2 percent since March 7 when the IMF called for monetary policy tightening if credit growth or inflation do not abate.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc jumped 1.56 percent, while Melstacorp Plc rose 1.84 percent





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