September 3, 2018 / 12:32 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares climb to highest close in nearly 3 weeks

COLOMBO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for the fourth straight session on Monday to their highest close in nearly three weeks, led by gains in banking and beverage stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.18 percent higher at 6,091.45. It rose 0.4 percent last week, marking the second straight weekly gain.

The index, however, lost 1.1 percent in August, having hit its lowest close since March 2017 on Aug. 28. The bourse is down 4.4 percent so far this year.

The day’s turnover was at 404.2 million rupees ($2.5 million), nearly half of this year’s daily average of 810.7 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold a net 5 million rupees of shares on Monday, extending the net foreign selling so far this year to 4.2 billion rupees worth of shares.

Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc shares ended 0.2 percent higher, while Dialog Axiata Plc closed 1.7 percent firmer. Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc gained 3.5 percent and Hatton National Bank Plc ended 1.3 percent higher.

Sri Lankan companies posted a 4 percent total earnings growth in the June quarter from a year earlier, helped by financials, beverage shares, telecommunications and power and energy sectors, CT CLSA Securities (PVT) Ltd said in a research note. ($1 = 161.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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