April 10, 2014 / 11:51 AM / 4 years ago

Sri Lanka stocks edge down from 2-month high; Keells falls

COLOMBO, April 10 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan share index ended tad weaker on Thursday from a near two-month closing high, led by top conglomerate John Keells Holdings, while the turnover slumped to its lowest in more than one week ahead of holidays.

The main stock index fell 0.14 percent, or 8.50 points, to 6,075.05, from its highest close since Feb. 12 hit in the previous session.

Many investors were in a holiday mood as the stock and currency markets will be closed for three days next week including Monday and Tuesday due to Sinhala-Tamil new year followed by good Friday next week.

Analysts said the outlook is still positive due to prevailing lower interest rates.

Brokers say the $19.47 billion worth stock market is gradually attracting investors who are looking for higher returns as the deposit rates in banks and financial companies are not beyond 6-6.5 percent.

The day’s turnover was 359 million rupees, its lowest since April 1 and less than a half of this year’s daily average of 990 million rupees.

The bourse saw net foreign inflows of 1.8 million rupees, though foreigners have sold a net 8.5 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

John Keells Holdings lost 0.8 percent to 238 rupees.

Analysts said foreign outflow would continue if Sri Lanka does not cooperate in an international probe conducted by the Office of United nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights on the country’s alleged war crimes.

The island nation’s foreign minister on Monday said the country would not cooperate with the inquiry. ($1 = 130.6000 Sri Lanka Rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anand Basu)

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