April 3, 2017 / 11:38 AM / 4 months ago

Sri Lankan shares hit more than 3-wk closing high

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COLOMBO, April 3 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed at their highest in more than three weeks on Monday, rising for a fifth straight session as foreign buying boosted sentiment while block deals pushed the day's turnover, stockbrokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.3 percent firmer at 6,080.01, its highest close since March 10. The index rose 1.1 percent last week, posting its first weekly gain in six.

"Though retail investors are still on sidelines, the good thing is foreigners and high net worth investors are grabbing the opportunity and buying," said Yohan Samarakkody, head of research at SC Securities.

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 67 million rupees ($441,845) on Monday, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 5.7 billion rupees in equities.

Turnover stood at 1 billion rupees, well above this year's daily average of 734.9 million rupees.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc jumped 1.6 percent, while Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc rose 3.8 percent.

Aitken Spence and Company Plc ended 5 percent up and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc climbed 0.8 percent. ($1 = 151.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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