March 6, 2014 / 11:41 AM / 4 years ago

Sri Lanka index hits 2-wk high led by John Keells

COLOMBO, March 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended at their highest level in two weeks on Thursday led by top conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC amid mild foreign inflows.

The main stock index ended up 0.43 percent, or 25.50 points, at 5,961.93 points, its highest close since Feb. 19.

Shares in John Keells rose 2.23 percent to 224.90 rupees.

The day’s turnover was 716.1 million rupees ($5.48 million), much below this year’s daily average of about 1.02 billion rupees.

Analysts said investors were cautious and waiting for direction 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 3.1 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, but they have been net sellers of 5.41 billion rupees for the last 19 sessions as some offshore funds exited the market.

The index has seen a net 4.02 billion rupees of foreign outflows so far in 2014, after net inflows of 22.88 billion rupees last year. ($1 = 130.5950 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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