COLOMBO Jan 6 Sri Lankan shares edged higher on
Friday, ending a five-day losing streak and recovering from a
nine-month low hit in the prior session as investors picked up
battered down shares.
Foreign investors turned net buyers on Friday after
offloading shares for five straight sessions.
The bourse hit a nine-month low on Thursday as foreign
investors sold close to one billion rupees worth of stocks in
the first four sessions of 2017 amid worries over a weakening
rupee and rising interest rates hurt sentiment.
Foreign investors bought a net 26.95 million rupees
($180,026.72) worth of equities on Friday. They have been net
sellers to the tune of 969.69 million rupees so far this year.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.09 percent up at
6,153.02, edging up from its lowest close since April 4 hit on
Thursday. It fell 0.64 percent for the week and was down 9.7
percent in 2016, its second straight annual decline.
The index has been trading in the oversold territory since
Tuesday with the 14-day relative strength index breaking below
30, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level between 30 and 70
indicates the market is neutral.
The day's turnover was at 273.7 million rupees.
"Market edged up in thin volumes despite continued selling
pressure," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital
Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
Analysts said interest rate volatility and policy
uncertainties are also hurting investor sentiment.
Yields on treasury bill auctions rose 5-6 basis points at a
weekly auction on Wednesday, a day after the central bank
governor signalled less intervention to defend the currency as
market has braced for a depreciation.
Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 1.17
percent while Colombo Cold Stores Plc rose 1.26 percent
and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.95 percent.
Shares in biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon
Plc rose 0.42 percent while Conglomerate John Keells
ended 0.43 percent up.
Talks of a high net worth foreign investor exiting from
Keells has triggered panic selling, dealers said.
($1 = 149.7000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas