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Sri Lankan shares edge up on foreign investor buying


Sri Lankan shares closed marginally higher on Thursday after posting a near three-week closing low in the previous session, as foreign investors bought recently battered stocks while concerns about rising interest rates continued to hurt investor sentiment.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.09 percent at 6,127.11, after closing at its lowest since Feb. 9 on Wednesday.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 292.6 million rupees ($1.94 million) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 892.2 million rupees worth of equities.

Turnover was 783.9 million rupees, more than this year’s daily average of 666.6 million rupees.

“Market continues to move sideways but today we have seen some institutional and foreign buying,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Sri Lanka Telecom Plc ended 3.87 percent higher after reporting a group net profit of 289 million rupees for the December quarter, compared with a net loss of 157 million rupees a year earlier.

Trans Asia Hotels Plc jumped 8.12 percent, while Commercial Leasing & Finance Plc rose 3.45 percent.

Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more than four-year high since October, while the central bank has kept key policy rates on hold.

($1 = 151.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)