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COLOMBO, May 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended higher on Friday, posting the eighth straight gain on week and hitting their highest closing level in more than 16 months, led by blue chips such as John Keells Holdings Plc.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.47 percent firmer at 6,729.66, its highest close since Jan. 7, 2016.
It rose 0.83 percent during the week, and has climbed 11 percent since March 31.
Turnover stood at 618.02 million rupees ($4.06 million), less than this year's daily average of 893.4 million rupees.
"The market is up on significant buying interest in John Keells. There was some buying interest in some finance companies too," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.
"We expect profit-taking next week as the market needs some breather."
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 728,954 rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows to 18.02 billion rupees.
Shares in Nanda Investment Plc rose 24.89 percent to hit a record closing high, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc climbed 1.51 percent and Browns Investment Plc was up 15.79 percent. ($1 = 152.3000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)