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Sri Lankan shares up from 3-month low

COLOMBO, July 9 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares edged higher on Thursday from their lowest in three months hit in the previous session, as investors picked up battered shares like market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc.

However, the gains were capped as political uncertainty ahead of the Aug. 17 parliamentary elections weighed on sentiment. Foreign investors continued to exit risky assets for a seventh straight session.

The main stock index ended up 0.34 percent at 6,947.05, edging up from its lowest close since April 10 hit on Wednesday.

The day’s turnover stood at 1.04 billion rupees ($7.78 million), near this year’s daily average of 1.06 billion rupees.

The market saw a net foreign outflow of 577.4 million rupees on Thursday, the highest since June 17, extending net outflows for the past 31 sessions to 5.43 billion rupees.

However, foreign investors have been net buyers of 513.3 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.

"Foreigners will come only when the water is clear. They will not take a chance in uncertainty," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Shares in John Keells rose 2.11 percent, while Lion Brewery Plc rose 1.03 percent, pushing up the overall index.

President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on June 26 and scheduled elections for Aug. 17, in an effort to consolidate power and push through political reforms.

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