COLOMBO, March 6 Sri Lankan shares closed
slightly firmer on Monday, after posting a more than three-week
closing low in the previous session, with beverage and telecom
stocks driving the gains.
However, investor sentiment continued to remain low amid
concerns about rising interest rates.
The Colombo stock index ended up 0.26 percent at
6,117.19, after posting its lowest close since Feb. 9 on Friday.
It shed 0.6 percent last week in its second straight weekly
Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth 384.7
million rupees ($2.55 million) on Monday, extending the
year-to-date net foreign inflow to 1.35 billion rupees worth of
Turnover was 711.9 million rupees, more than this year's
daily average of 680.1 million rupees.
"Some crossings boosted the turnover. The good sign is we
are seeing continued foreign buying these days," said Dimantha
Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"Local investors are on the sidelines, mainly because of the
high interest rates and economic uncertainty."
Shares in Ceylon Cold Stores Plc jumped 6.12
percent, Lion brewery (Ceylon) Plc rose 6.27 percent,
Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc gained 0.71 percent, and Sri
Lanka Telecom Plc climbed 2.41 percent.
Yields on treasury bills have risen to a more than four-year
high since October, while the central bank has kept key policy
rates on hold.
($1 = 151.0000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by