April 7, 2017 / 12:17 PM / 4 months ago

Sri Lankan shares up for ninth straight session on foreign buying

COLOMBO, April 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for a ninth straight session on Friday to close at their highest in nearly four months helped by positive sentiment over continued foreign buying in blue chip stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.69 percent firmer at 6,292.94, its highest close since Dec. 14. The index rose 3.8 percent during the week, posting its second weekly gain in seven.

The index has climbed 5.32 percent in the last nine sessions through Friday.

"Foreign, institutional, and high-net worth investors are buying shares. That helped to move the market. Retailers are still on the sideline," said Yohan Samarakkody, head of research, SC Securities.

"The underline fundamentals have not changed as yet. The economic outlook is gloomy with high interest rates. But all that negativity have factored in. With the market reaching an oversold level, it became attractive to investors who have the holding capacity and they are capitalising that situation."

Foreign investors net bought shares worth 1.01 billion rupees ($6.66 million) on Friday, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 7.34 billion rupees in equities. They have net bought 4.85 billion worth equities in the past 14 sessions.

Turnover stood at 2.04 billion rupees, its highest since March 28 and well above this year's daily average of 764.4 million rupees.

Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores Plc surged 5.85 percent, Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc gained 0.89 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc climbed 0.68 percent.

$1 = 151.7000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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