September 21, 2017 / 11:33 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares end steady near 5-week closing high

COLOMBO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended flat on Thursday, near a more than five-week closing high hit in the previous session, as gains in beverage and construction shares were offset by losses in bank stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.02 percent lower at 6,451.55, edging down from its highest close since Aug. 14 hit on Wednesday.

“The interest in blue chips is continuing with buying momentum and positive sentiment, even though the market ended flat,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

“Unlike dull periods, we now see block trades and there are continuous enquiries specially from foreigners.”

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 0.6 percent weaker, while Hemas Holdings Plc fell 0.8 percent.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc rose 0.5 percent and Access Engineering Plc rose 3.2 percent.

Foreign investors bought a net 54.1 million rupees ($354,289) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 17.7 billion rupees.

Turnover stood at 541.4 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of around 924 million rupees. ($1 = 152.7000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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