REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares ended steady in thin trade yesterday as gains in financials were offset by losses in industrial shares, with foreign investors continuing to be net buyers.
The Colombo stock index ended almost unchanged at 6,669.05. On Tuesday, the index recorded its lowest close since June 13.
Shares of diversified conglomerate Hemas Holdings Plc fell 1.0 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc rose 0.13 percent.
Turnover stood at a one-week high of Rs.780.9 million, but less than this year’s daily average of around Rs.898 million.
“The foreign buying is still there and we see local retail and institutional investors are settling for price,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs.203.5 million (US$1.32 million) yesterday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs.25.4 billion.
Stockbrokers said market sentiment has improved after the government approved a key port deal.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a revised agreement for leasing its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation.
Colombo’s overall macro-footing will improve upon the conclusion of the port deal, said Shailesh Kumar, Eurasia’s senior analyst for Asia in a report.