April 10, 2018 / 12:42 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares pull away from 11-week closing low

COLOMBO, April 10 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares on Monday recovered from their lowest close in 11 weeks in thin trade ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year this week, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.14 percent higher at 6,439.83, recovering from its lowest close since Jan. 23 hit in the previous session.

The turnover stood at 499.1 million rupees ($3.21 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 1.18 billion rupees.

Market sentiment has improved after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion last week, dealers said.

“But still, the market is waiting for some more clarity in the political front. The holidays are also weighing on the trading,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO, Acuity Stockbrokers.

Top listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon gained 1.1 percent, Capital Trust closed 3.7 percent up, while John Keells Holdings edged up 0.1 percent.

Foreign investors sold shares worth net 43.4 million rupees on Tuesday, extending the net foreign outflow to 831.7 million rupees from equities.

Dealers expect the stock market to be tepid this week ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year on April 14.

The central bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, as policy makers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.

The index fell 0.33 percent last week and dropped 1.14 percent in March. ($1 = 155.4500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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