COLOMBO, May 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended firmer on Thursday, helped by foreign buying in blue chips, after the International Monetary Fund said it may consider the country's request for a second loan review.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.59 percent stronger at 6,602.44, near its one-year closing high hit on Friday, boosted by foreign buying in heavyweights such as John Keells , up 2.1 percent, and Ceylon Tobacco Company, up 1.2 percent.
"With the renewed foreign interest, we can see retail investors are slowly returning to the market. Fundamentally sound stocks moved the market today," said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst at First Capital Holdings PLC.
"The positive IMF news also helped boost the market sentiment."
Analysts said the market will continue to be bullish with mild profit-taking.
Turnover stood at 1.08 billion rupees ($7.09 million), more than this year's daily average of 901 million rupees.
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 62.2 million rupees, extending their year-to-date investment in equities to 16.52 billion rupees.
They bought a net 14 billion rupees worth of equities in the last 29 sessions.
$1 = 152.2500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan