COLOMBO, June 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose for a second straight session on Thursday, posting their highest close in nearly one week, in high turnover with foreign investors buying into the island nations’ risky assets.
Last week’s floods and landslides that killed over 200 people, however, weighed on sentiment.
The extent of the damage is yet to be assessed, with the country’s main agricultural exports - tea and rubber - hit by the worst torrential rains in 14 years.
Analysts said it is too early to evaluate the real impact of the floods and landslides, though short-term disruptions in rubber tapping and plucking of tea leaves and buds could lead to a decline in output.
Inflation could rise in the short term, especially due to crop damages and distribution difficulties with regard to fresh food produce and staple food items, they said.
“Market lost a little bit of heat in the morning. But with the foreign buying, the market picked up in the latter part of the day,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.29 percent stronger at 6,693.68, its highest close since May 26.
Turnover was 1.03 billion rupees ($6.74 million), more than this year’s daily average of 902.4 million rupees.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 60 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.48 billion rupees worth of equities.
Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc jumped over 3 percent, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc gained 0.60 percent and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, the country’s biggest listed lender, rose 1.04 percent. ($1 = 152.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)