October 10, 2017 / 12:00 PM / 12 days ago

Sri Lankan shares end firmer on foreign buying

COLOMBO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended marginally higher on Tuesday in heavy trade, near a nine-week closing high hit last week, as foreign buying boosted investor sentiment, brokers said.

Foreign investors bought a net 499.3 million rupees ($3.25 million) worth of equities on Tuesday, extending their year-to-date net foreign inflow to 20.6 billion rupees worth of shares.

Turnover stood at 2.2 billion rupees, more than double this year’s daily average of 930.5 million rupees.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.12 percent firmer at 6,523.68, near its highest close since Aug. 4 hit on Friday. The index had risen 1.4 percent last week, recording its fourth straight weekly gain.

“Foreign buying helped to keep the market positive. There was a lot of foreign buying in banks,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.9 percent up, while Hatton National Bank Plc rose 2.4 percent and Sampath Bank Plc ended 2.5 percent firmer. ($1 = 153.4000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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