COLOMBO, March 7 Sri Lankan shares ended steady at their highest in more than two weeks on Friday, but turnover fell sharply as investors stayed away awaiting direction as the country faces a resolution in the United Nations against its human rights record.
The main stock index ended up 0.07 percent, or 4.13 points, at 5,966.06 points, its highest close since Feb. 19.
Shares in top conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC rose 1.38 percent to 228.00 rupees.
The day's turnover was 233.18 million rupees ($1.79 million), its lowest since Dec. 26 and much below this year's daily average of about 1.00 billion rupees.
Analysts said investors were cautious as a tough resolution on Sri Lanka comes up for voting at the United Nation's Human Rights Council later this month.
Reacting to a report by the U.N. human rights chief last week, Sri Lanka questioned the independence of the human rights office of the U.N. on Wednesday, a day after the United States asked the U.N. to investigate human rights violations by the Sri Lankan government.
Foreign investors bought a net 16.6 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, but they have been net sellers of 5.39 billion rupees for the last 20 sessions as some offshore funds exited the market.
The index has seen a net 4 billion rupees of foreign outflows so far in 2014, after net inflows of 22.88 billion rupees last year. ($1 = 130.5550 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)