Sri Lankan shares rise after eight sessions of falls in thin trade

Dec 23, 2016 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares edged up on Friday, snapping eight straight sessions of falls and moving away from a more than eight-month closing low hit in the previous session, while turnover was low in holiday-thinned trade as investors stayed away from markets ahead of the Christmas weekend.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.11 percent firmer at 6,216.56 after posting its lowest close since April 6 in the previous session. It shed 2 percent in the eight sessions through Thursday, and declined 0.8 percent this week.

Turnover was near a four-week low at 124.9 million rupees ($835,451.51), around a sixth of this year’s daily average of 738 million rupees.

“We may see some window dressings next week, which might help the index move up,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst with First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Sri Lankan markets will be closed on Monday for a bank holiday in lieu of Christmas on Sunday.

Foreign investors, who have been net buyers of 621.5 million rupees of equities, sold a net 4.2 million rupees of shares on Friday.

Cargills (Ceylon) Plc and top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc accounted for 59 percent of the day’s turnover.

Cargills shares gained 2.9 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc rose 1.1 percent to boost the overall index. John Keells, however, fell 0.14 percent.

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