June 21, 2018 / 11:13 AM / a month ago

Sri Lankan stocks climb from 14-mth low, snap 10-session losing run

COLOMBO, June 21 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended slightly firmer on Thursday, snapping a 10-session losing streak, as local investors bought battered beverage and telecom shares.

The Colombo stock index gained 0.18 percent to close at 6,229.06, edging higher from its lowest close since April 5, 2017 hit on Wednesday.

“Market is up on local buying, mostly its bargain-hunting by local investors as the market has dropped too low in very little time,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Turnover stood at 416.2 million rupees ($2.6 million), well below this year’s daily average of 948 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth 34 million rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to 861.6 million rupees of shares so far this year.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc rose 1.8 percent, while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc ended 3.8 percent higher. Distillers Co of Sri Lankan Plc gained 1.5 percent and Melstacorp Ltd ended 1.9 percent firmer.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday said the country’s economy is likely to grow around 4.5 percent this year, below the central bank estimate of 5 percent in a sign political uncertainty is curbing a more robust recovery after a weak 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said Sri Lanka’s economy remains vulnerable to adverse shocks because of sizable public debt and large refinancing needs. ($1 = 159.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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