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Search date: 04-04-2018 Return to current date: Click here

Sri Lankan stocks end higher on illiquid shares

April 04, 2018 00:00:00

COLOMBO, Apr 3 (Reuters): Sri Lankan share index ended firmer on Tuesday, edging up from its nine-week closing low hit last week, as investors picked up illiquid shares of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc, but political woes over a no-confidence motion against the prime minister weighed on sentiment, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.13 per cent firmer at 6,458.33, edging up from its lowest close since Jan. 23 hit on Wednesday.

The index climbed 0.51 per cent last week, its first weekly gain in five, but dropped 1.14 per cent last month.

"The overall investor sentiment was on a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the no-confidence motion. There were some activities on illiquid distilleries, which moved the market up today," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

The turnover stood at 530.1 million rupees ($3.40 million), less than this year's daily average of around 1.2 billion rupees.

Foreign investors sold shares worth net 128.2 million rupees on Tuesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 1.14 billion rupees worth equities.

Political uncertainty and worries over a slowing economy weighed on sentiment, brokers said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is facing a no-confidence motion, which will be debated on Wednesday before voting, with analysts saying support from many political parties will be needed for Wickremesinghe to clear the vote.

Cautious investors await the outcome of the rate announcement, said analysts.

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