COLOMBO Feb 22 Sri Lankan shares rose slightly
on Wednesday from a more than one-week closing low hit in the
previous session as investors bought banking shares, but
concerns over rising interest rates weighed on sentiment.
Yields on treasury bills rose 3-10 basis points at a weekly
auction on Tuesday. They have risen 44-73 basis points since
Oct. 7 to more than four-year highs, while the central bank has
kept key policy rates on hold.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.04 percent firmer at
6,129.69, snapping a four-session losing streak and edging up
from its lowest close since Feb. 9 hit on Tuesday.
"Some crossings in blue chips boosted the turnover. Other
than that, there was nothing and the market was very dull as
investors are still on the sidelines," said Dimantha Mathew,
head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
"Selling pressure is there, but there are no buyers."
Shares in Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc rose 4.18
percent, while Nestle Lanka Plc, which posted a 42
percent rise in profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31, climbed
Turnover stood at 482.7 million rupees ($3.19 million), well
below this year's daily average of 612.5 million rupees.
Foreign investors net bought 37.8 million rupees worth of
equities on Wednesday, but they have net sold 215 million rupees
worth shares so far this year.
($1 = 151.1000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju