REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares closed little changed yesterday, but sentiment was positive as the Central Bank kept key policy rates steady and as foreign investors bought diversified shares such as Hemas Holdings Plc and John
The banking regulator said the current monetary policy, which was in line with forecasts, was appropriate as it expected the economy to recover in the second half of the year.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.01 percent firmer at 6,715.33, but fell 0.05 percent on week.
“Unchanged policy rates could be one reason for the positive and healthy atmosphere that was there today,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research,
First Capital Holdings PLC.
“It was a very active day with all retail, high networth institutional and foreign investors trading in the market.”
Turnover was Rs.2.7 billion (US$17.64 million), nearly three times this year’s daily average of Rs.921.1 million.
Foreign investors net bought Rs.257.7 million (US$1.68 million) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs.21.1 billion worth of equities.
Shares of conglomerate John Keells ended 1.2 percent firmer, while Ceylinco Insurance Plc rose 6.7 percent and Hemas Holdings closed up 1.9 percent.
The markets will be closed on Monday for Id-Ul-Fitr or the Ramzan Festival Day. Normal trading will resume on Tuesday.