COLOMBO, Sept 30 Sri Lankan stocks posted a
fourth straight session of gains on Friday to end at a near
one-month closing high, led by blue chips, while the drop in
T-bill yields boosted sentiment.
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange
ended up 0.1 percent, or 6.47 points, at 6,534.77, its highest
close since Sept. 2.
The index posted a weekly gain of 0.86 percent, rising for
the second week after four consecutive weekly losses.
"Market is up with a rally in blue chips coming into the
market," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital
Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
The central bank's widely expected decision on Wednesday to
hold the rates steady suggested that policy makers were keen to
support a slowing economy even as they kept a tight leash on
rampant credit growth.
Treasury bill yields fell between 16 basis points and 33
basis points after the rate decision.
Analysts said they expected the stock index to rise this
week due to the fall in the return on fixed income assets.
The bank has tightened policy three times since December.
Foreign investors bought a net 4.5 million rupees worth of
shares on Friday. But they have been net sellers of 2.95 billion
rupees worth of equities so far this year.
Turnover stood at 1.32 billion rupees ($9.00 million), more
than this year's daily average of 756.3 million rupees.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc
climbed 0.65 percent, while the biggest-listed Lender Commercial
Bank of Ceylon Plc rose 0.70 percent.
($1 = 146.7000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry