April 26, 2017 / 12:07 PM / 4 months ago

Sri Lankan shares end higher as foreign investors pick blue chips

COLOMBO, April 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed higher on Wednesday after two straight sessions of losses as foreign investors actively bought into blue chips, with the net stock buys touching nearly 15 billion rupees so far in the year.

Foreign investors bought shares for a 24th straight session, buying a net 318.6 million rupees ($2.10 million) worth of stocks on Wednesday.

They have snapped up a net 12.4 billion rupees worth equities during the period and a net 14.9 billion rupees worth year-to-date.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.36 percent firmer at 6,516.26.

The index has climbed 9.1 percent in the 19 sessions through Wednesday, having risen for 16 sessions in that period.

It added 2.1 percent last week, marking its fourth week of gains.

"Foreigners are very active and buying aggressively, while local investors are cautiously waiting to buy," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Turnover stood at 1.44 billion rupees, higher than this year's daily average of 882 million rupees.

Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings gained 1.1 percent, while Ceylon Tobacco Company rose 0.6 percent.

$1 = 151.9000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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