COLOMBO, April 3 Sri Lankan stocks edged up to
more than six-week highs on Thursday, led by telecom shares
while foreign trading boosted the day's turnover.
The main stock index ended firmer 0.23 percent, or
13.69 points, at 6,018.47 - its highest since Feb. 18.
Foreign buying accounted for 83.6 percent of the day's 2.57
billion rupees ($19.66 million) turnover, well above this year's
daily average of 942.6 million rupees.
The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 297.7 million rupees
worth of shares. Foreign investors have been net sellers of 5.52
billion rupees so far this year.
Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, the top listed lender,
closed 1.67 percent firmer, while shares in Sri Lanka
Telecom Plc rose 3.46 percent.
The top conglomerate John Keells Holdings, which
fell 0.56 percent, saw a net foreign selling of 1.32 million
shares. Commercial Bank of Ceylon saw a net foreign buying of
around 57,000 shares.
Analysts, however, said investor sentiment is yet to recover
after the United Nations announced it would probe alleged war
crimes by the island nation.
The UN last week launched an inquiry into war crimes
allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil
rebels during a conflict that ended in 2009, saying the
government had failed to investigate properly.
Analysts said the outcome of the resolution was expected,
but investors' sentiment has been dented over concerns it could
hurt the country's economy. Several potential buyers of risky
assets are awaiting a clear direction.
($1 = 130.7150 Sri Lanka Rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by