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Sri Lankan shares edge up from near 4-week closing low on foreign buying


AUGUST 09, 2018

COLOMBO, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares edged up on Wednesday as foreign investors sought bargains after a sell-off in the previous session pushed the bourse to four-week lows.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.05 percent higher at 6,120.69 from 6,117.63 on Tuesday, which was its lowest closing level since July 11. The index has declined about 4 percent so far this year.

Turnover on Wednesday was 967.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($6.06 million), more than this year’s daily average of 849.8 million rupees.

“Today we have seen foreign buying into some select shares which helped the market,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at broker First Capital Holdings.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 576 million rupees. They sold a net 3 billion rupees worth of equities year-to-date.

Shares of John Keells Holding Plc rose 4.5 percent while Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc ended 1.0 percent up.

Sri Lanka’s central bank left its key policy rates unchanged as expected on Friday, citing its goals of stabilising inflation and fostering sustainable economic growth.

Central bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the economy was unlikely to grow more than 4 percent in 2018, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5 percent.