July 26, 2017 / 12:40 PM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares recover from 6-wk closing low on bargain hunting

COLOMBO, July 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares edged higher on Wednesday, ending a seven-session losing streak as investors bought battered down shares a day after the cabinet granted approval for a Chinese-built port lease deal.

The Colombo stock index rose 0.1 percent to 6,669.05, recoding its first gain in eight sessions. On Tuesday, the index had recorded its lowest close since June 13.

Turnover was at a near two-month low of 319 million rupees, around a third of this year’s daily average of around 898.9 million rupees.

Sri Lanka’s cabinet cleared a revised agreement for leasing its Chinese-built southern port of Hambantota on Tuesday which will bring in around 1 billion dollar inflow, after terms of the first pact sparked widespread public anger in the island nation.

“Bargain hunting in blue chips drove the market as people saw prices are attractive after two weeks of slump,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer, Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts said positive sentiment is returning to the market after the cabinet granted approval for the port deal and exchange control bill presented to parliament.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 38.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($252,686) on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 25.1 billion rupees.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.8 percent while DFCC Bank Plc ended 1.2 percent firmer and Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc rose 3.45 percent. ($1 = 153.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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