September 26, 2017 / 12:01 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares edge up from 1-wk low as investors buy blue chips

COLOMBO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares rose on Tuesday for the first time in four sessions, rebounding from a one-week closing low, as investors picked up banking and beverage stocks after the central bank held the policy rates steady.

The Sri Lankan central bank on Tuesday held its key rates steady, saying past steps were keeping inflation and credit growth under control, as policymakers focus on supporting an economy hit by extreme weather.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.12 percent higher at 6,419.61, edging up from its lowest close since Sept. 18 hit on Monday.

Shares of People Leasing Plc rose 2.9 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.4 percent firmer, and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 0.7 percent up.

“It was a bit of a slow day with some foreign outflow,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

“High local interest in plantation sector and some block deals in blue chips were seen as a positive sign. Foreigners are inactive and global funds are shifting towards U.S. expecting a possible fed rate hike in December.”

Turnover stood at 532.3 million rupees ($3.48 million), compared with this year’s daily average of about 917 million rupees.

Foreign investors who bought a net 17.6 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year were net sellers for the second straight session. They sold 54.2 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday. ($1 = 152.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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