Sri Lankan stocks at 1-wk high; John Keells gains

COLOMBO Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:57am EST

COLOMBO Feb 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares gained for a second straight session on Friday, moving further away from a near 10-week closing low, led by top conglomerate John Keells Holdings despite foreigners investors selling risky assets.

The main stock index gained 1.15 percent, or 67.50 points, to close at 5,940.31, its highest since Feb. 21. It hit a near 10-week closing low on Tuesday.

The index has dropped nearly 7 percent in the last 15 sessions through Tuesday. It returned to its neutral territory from an oversold zone, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Foreign investors sold a net 43.4 million rupees ($331,200) worth of shares on Friday, extending the net outflow in the past 15 sessions to 5.43 billion rupees as some offshore funds exited the market.

It has seen a net 4.04 billion rupees of foreign outflows in so far 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 4.10 percent to 220.70 rupees as local and forging investors snapped up the battered share.

The day's turnover was 851.6 million rupees, less than this year's daily average of about 1.09 billion rupees. ($1 = 131.0500 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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