Sri Lankan stocks recover from near 10-wk low on bargain hunting; Keells leads

COLOMBO Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:08am EST

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COLOMBO Feb 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares recovered from a near 10-week closing low on Wednesday on bargain hunting in beaten down shares, snapping a nine-session falling streak, led by the top conglomerate John Keells Holdings.

Foreigners investors bought the island nation's risky assets on a net basis in an oversold market.

The main stock index gained 0.63 percent, or 36.89 points, to close at 5,872.81, up from its lowest close since Dec. 18 hit in the previous session.

The index dropped nearly 7 percent in the last 15 sessions through Tuesday and has been in oversold territory since Friday, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Foreign investors bought a net 24.5 million rupees of shares on Wednesday, but the bourse has suffered outflows of 5.41 billion rupees in the past 14 sessions as some offshore funds exited the market.

It has seen a net 4 billion rupees of foreign outflows in 2014, after enjoying net inflows of 22.88 billion rupees last year.

Analysts said investors were concerned about further outflows, though local investors are still optimistic about risky assets due to falling interest rates.

Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings gained 2.76 percent to 212 rupees, reversing a 22-session fall through Tuesday.

The day's turnover was 446.6 million rupees ($3.41 million), less than half of this year's daily average of about 1.09 billion rupees. ($1 = 131.0750 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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