(EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks closed the year marginally higher Wednesday with index heavyweights pushed up on small transactions in dull trade as investors stayed away because of year-end holidays and uncertainties ahead of the presidential poll.
The All Share Price Index rose 7.62 points (0.1 percent) to 7,298.95 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, ended up 2.54 points (0.06 percent) at 4,089.14.
Turnover was a low 629 million rupees
Gains in Commercial Leasing & Finance Company, Finlays Colombo, Commercial Bank and John Keells Holdings helped push up the benchmark ASPI.
Access Engineering, the most actively traded stock, fell 3.3 percent (1.10 rupees) to end at 32.40 and adding 57 million rupees to the day’s turnover.
Commercial Leasing & Finance Company was pushed up 4.55 percent (20 cents) to 4.60 on just one trade of 200 shares and Finlays Colombo was pushed up almost 10 percent (32.60 rupees) to 358.90 rupees on a share volume of just 10.
Commercial Bank ended at 171 rupees, up one rupee while JKH closed at 250 rupees, up 80 cents (0.3 percent), adding 75 million rupees to turnover.
Presidential polls will be held on January 8 with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election chances weakened by continuing defections from his ruling party to the opposition.