COLOMBO Dec 28 Sri Lankan stocks gained on
Friday, led by heavy foreign buying in market heavyweight John
Keells Holdings, while local retailers bought
speculative shares amid falling interest rates.
The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index rose 0.65
percent, or 36.22 points, to close at 5,607.13, its highest
since Oct. 19.
Foreign buying accounted for 68 percent of turnover and
offshore investors bought a net 619.5 million rupees worth of
shares, extending net foreign buying this year to 38.52 billion
Trading in John Keells Holdings, which gained 0.87 percent
to 219.9 rupees, accounted for 67.6 percent of turnover.
"Foreigners bought Keells and we see some positive sentiment
locally with retail investors buying some speculative shares
after the recent fall in fixed deposit yields," a stockbroker
said on condition of anonymity.
Treasury bill yields eased by between 21 and 49 basis points
at a weekly auction on Monday in line with a surprise cut in
interest rates earlier this month.
The day's turnover stood at 930.6 million rupees ($7.33
million), compared to this year's daily average of 886 million
The rupee closed steady at 127.00/10 to the dollar
for a third session in dull trade, currency dealers said.
($1 = 127 rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Nick Macfie)