Sri Lankan shares rise to near one-week high

COLOMBO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Friday, hitting near one-week highs as local investors picked up battered large-cap stocks.

The main stock index ended 0.32 percent, or 20.16 points, higher at 6,340.05, its highest since close since Jan. 25.

The index has fallen over 8 percent so far this year as foreign investors, unnerved by global concerns over China’s economy, have cut their exposure.

"Local investors were largely active on the bourse," TKS securities said in a note to investors.

Foreign investors sold a net 34.5 million rupees ($239,666.55) worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 2.71 billion rupees worth of equities.

Turnover was 387.3 million rupees, around half of this year’s daily average of 748.2 million rupees.

The central bank rejected all bids at an auction on Wednesday, signalling it would not tolerate much increase in yields after the yield on the 364-day t-bill jumped 32 basis points to a more than two-year high of 7.80 percent last week.

This move could help investors return to the market, analysts said.

Shares of Distillers Company of Plc rose 2.83 percent, while Nestle Lanka Plc advanced 2.43 percent.

Lanka ORIX Leasing Co Plc rose 2.17 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.72 percent.





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