REUTERS: Sri Lankan stocks hit a one-week closing high yesterday, led by blue chips as investors picked up beaten down counters, even as foreign investor outflow touched a seven-month high, mainly due to selling in shares of National Development Bank (NDB).
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.21 percent higher at 6,464.94, its highest close since September 15.
“Index turned green today with sudden buying interest in blue chip counters,” said First Capital Equities (Pvt.) Ltd Head of Research Dimantha Mathew. “Buying interest is there mainly in diversified shares.”
Foreign investors sold a net 6.38 million shares in NDB, ahead of a change in its top management, Mathew said. NDB ended one percent higher.
Foreign outflow hit its highest since February 19 as offshore investors sold a net Rs.867.8 million worth of equities yesterday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.2.94 billion worth shares.
Turnover stood at Rs.2.09 billion, more than twice this year’s daily average of Rs.752.3 million.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC rose 0.9 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC gained 1.3 percent, driving the overall index higher.
The bourse hit a more than seven-week low on Tuesday as selling pressure on stocks that were expected to take a hit from a proposed tax increase weighed on sentiment.