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
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 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