Sri Lankan stocks end up on foreign buying; budget awaited

COLOMBO Fri Nov 2, 2012 7:26am EDT

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COLOMBO Nov 2 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks edged higher on Friday, ending a four-session losing streak, on foreign buying of shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC but many investors stayed away to await direction from next week's budget and corporate earnings.

The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.69 percent, or 37.78 points, to end at 5,532.32.

Shares in John Keells Holdings rose 1.55 percent to 209.70 rupees.

"The market is up on foreign buying in Keells but many investors stayed away to see the direction," said a stockbroker who declined to be identified.

The government will present the 2013 budget on Nov.8 while several companies will release quarterly results next week.

Turnover was 1.3 billion rupees ($9.97 million), the highest since Oct. 15 and slightly above this year's daily average of 921 million rupees.

Foreigners bought a net 583.3 million rupees worth of shares, extending the net foreign inflow this year to 34.5 billion rupees.

The rupee ended slightly firmer at 130.30/35 to the dollar from Thursday's close of 130.30/40 in dull trade, dealers said. ($1 = 130.3500 rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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