June 9, 2017 / 11:33 AM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan shares snap four sessions of falls

COLOMBO, June 9 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed slightly firmer on Friday, snapping four straight sessions of falls, on foreign investor buying in select stocks.

Analysts said investors are waiting to see the real impact of the recent floods and landslides caused by the worst torrential rains in 14 years, killing over 200 people and devastating crops.

The Colombo stock index ended up 0.07 percent at 6,668.96, edging up from its lowest close since May 30 hit on Wednesday.

However, it fell 0.3 percent this week in its third straight weekly decline.

“Foreign trade boosted the market. They only bought in some select counters and they did not have enough quantities. Local investors are waiting for some directions amid uncertainty over how the Qatar issue will impact the Sri Lankan economy and oil prices,” said Jaliya Wijeratne, CEO at First Capital Holdings PLC.

Turnover was 534.9 million rupees ($3.50 million), little higher than half of this year’s daily average of 897.6 million rupees.

Inflation could rise in the short term, especially due to crop damage and difficulties in distributing fresh food produce and staple food items, analysts said.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 131.3 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 20.2 billion rupees.

Shares of BRAC Lanka Finance Plc rose 18 percent, Bukit Darah Plc ended 6.3 percent firmer and the country’s biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc , gained 1.57 percent. ($1 = 152.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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