March 4, 2014 / 12:45 PM / 4 years ago

Sri Lankan stocks up as large caps gain in light trade

COLOMBO, March 4 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares edged up on Tuesday, led by stocks of large cap firms such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and John Keells Holdings Plc, but turnover was thin as cautious investors stayed on the sidelines.

The main stock index rose 0.38 percent, or 22.61 points, to close at 5,936.62.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company rose 1.52 percent to 1105.80 rupees and top conglomerate John Keells Holdings gained 0.73 percent to 220.10 rupees.

The day’s turnover was 371.2 million rupees ($2.84 million), well below this year’s daily average of about 1.05 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.

Foreign investors sold a net 7.75 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday, extending their net selling in the last 17 sessions to shares worth 5.43 billion rupees as some offshore funds exited the market.

The index has seen a net 4.04 billion rupees of foreign outflows so far in 2014, after net inflows of 22.88 billion rupees last year.

Analysts said investors were concerned about further outflows, though local investors are still optimistic about risky assets due to falling interest rates. ($1 = 130.6250 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)

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