February 15, 2017 / 12:04 PM / 3 years ago

Sri Lankan shares hit 4-wk closing high; large caps lead

COLOMBO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares hit a four-week closing high on Wednesday, rising for a third straight session, as investors picked up large cap shares such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.43 percent firmer at 6,175.50, its highest close since Jan. 18.

“Market continued its uptrend as the prices are still cheap and attractive for investors and the news such as Fitch are positive for investors,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer, Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Last week, Fitch Ratings affirmed Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘B+’ and revised the outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc jumped 2.89 percent, while Ceylinco Insurance Plc rose 5.97 percent.

Turnover stood at 876.3 million rupees ($5.83 million), more than this year’s daily average of 631.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors net bought 22.3 million rupees worth of equities on Wednesday. They have net sold 290.7 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Sri Lankan stocks have been hit by political uncertainty after ruling coalition parties decided to contest local polls separately, and on worries over a rise in interest rates.

Yields on treasury bills rose 5-8 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday and are hovering at a more than four-year high. ($1 = 150.3000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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