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Shares up for second session on foreign buying

Shares up for second session on foreign buying

Reuters: Shares rose for the second straight session yesterday as foreign investors picked up shares that had been battered in recent days, brokers said.

The Central Bank left its key policy rates unchanged as expected yesterday before the market opened, and said the decision backed its goals for stabilising inflation and fostering sustainable economic growth.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.12% firmer at 6,143.90.

The index began the week by marking its lowest close since 12 July and fell 0.16% during the week, recording its second weekly decline. It is down 3.5% so far this year.

Turnover stood at Rs. 150.5 million ($ 942,391.98), well below this year’s daily average of Rs. 844 million.

“The market is moving sideways with low turnover levels as there is not much of selling pressure,” said First Capital Holdings Head of Research Dimantha Mathew.

“The buying interest is there but they are looking at cheaper prices, but there are no sellers, which is a good sign for the market.”

Foreign investors bought equities worth a net Rs. 49.9 million yesterday, but have been net sellers of Rs. 2.6 billion worth of equities so far this year.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday said the economy is unlikely to grow more than 4% in 2018, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5%.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC ended 0.5% up, while Melstacorp Ltd. rose 6.03%, Dialog Axiata PLC closed 2.1% firmer, and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC gained 1.5%.

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