July 20, 2018 / 11:39 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares hit 3-wk high, mark second weekly gain in nine

COLOMBO, July 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose on Friday to their highest close in three weeks and marked their second weekly gain in nine.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.13 percent firmer at 6,191.17, its highest close since June 29. It rose 0.86 percent on the week, but has fallen 2.8 percent year to date.

Turnover was 207.1 million rupees ($1.30 million) in the session, its lowest since July 10 and less than a quarter of this year’s daily average of 882.5 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought equities net worth 26.2 million rupees on Friday, but they have been net sellers of stocks worth 2.6 billion rupees so far this year.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate by the central bank has hurt sentiment, analysts have said.

Economic growth in 2018 is likely to be between 4 percent and 4.5 percent, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5 percent, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said earlier this month.

Shares in Ceylinco Insurance Plc rose 3.4 percent, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Plc gained 2 percent and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 0.3 percent firmer. ($1 = 159.8500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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