REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares ended steady yesterday after hitting their lowest close in nearly eight months in the previous session, as gains in lenders offset losses in shares of diversified companies.
The Colombo Stock Index rose 0.05 percent to 6,360.36, up from its lowest close since April 17 hit on Monday. The index lost 0.6 percent last week in its fifth consecutive weekly drop, but is still up 2 percent so far this year.
“Foreign buying pushed the turnover levels.
It’s positive on the overall market that the foreigners are willing to pay a premium and get valued stocks,” said Softlogic Stockbrokers Deputy CEO Hussain Gani.
Turnover was Rs.999.8 million, more than this year’s daily average of Rs.941 million.
Foreign investors bought a net Rs.164.5 million worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs.18.3 billion worth of equities.
Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC ended 2.9 percent higher, while conglomerate John Keells fell 0.8 percent.
Worries over a delay in local council polls and a lack of clarity over the budget and two other key policy measures weighed on sentiment, analysts said.
The Election Commission said on December 4 that the council polls would be held before February 17, amid concerns over political stability as coalition partners in President Maithripala Sirisena’s government had decided to contest separately in the council polls.