(Colombo) REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares closed firmer yesterday, snapping six straight sessions of losses and recovering from a near two-week closing low in the previous session, as investors bought beaten-down stocks.
The rupee ended slightly stronger as exporter dollar sales surpassed importer greenback demand.
The benchmark stock index ended 0.73 percent higher at 5,889.68, edging up from its lowest close since July 25 hit on Tuesday. It gained 0.37 percent last week, its sixth straight weekly gain.So far this year, the index is down about 2.7 percent.
Turnover was Rs.461.1 million, less than this year’s daily average of about Rs.638.5 million so far. Last year’s daily average came in at Rs.834 million.
Foreign investors sold a net Rs.7.3 million worth of shares yesterday, but they have been net buyers of Rs.497.5 million worth of equities so far this year, according to index data.
Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC jumped 7.1 percent, biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC rose 2.9 percent, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC closed up 3.6 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.1 percent firmer.
The rupee snapped a seven-session losing streak and closed at 177.40/55 per dollar, compared with Tuesday’s close of 177.45/65.
The rupee fell 0.73 percent in the seven sessions through Tuesday, but is up nearly 3 percent so far this year.
The Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged on July 11 as expected, after cutting them in May to support the economy as tourism and investment plummeted in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in April. Foreign investors sold a net Rs.5.11 billion worth of government securities in the week ended July 31, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.27.31 billion, the Central Bank data showed.