March 22, 2018 / 12:39 PM / 8 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks snap 3 sessions of falls

COLOMBO, March 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended marginally higher on Thursday, snapping three straight sessions of falls, as investors bought beverage and diversified stocks, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index rose 0.09 percent to 6,451.51, after it posted an eight-week closing low in the previous session.

However, investors remain worried about the island nation’s slower economic growth, said analysts.

Sri Lanka’s economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in 16 years and well below the 4.5 percent seen in 2016, revised government data released on Tuesday showed.

“We saw some of the positivity coming in after the release of GDP data. But investors are concerned over the lower growth,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer, Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

“We can see some high net worth investors collecting with the index trading below 6,500.”

Turnover was 1.4 billion rupees ($8.97 million), more than this year’s daily average of around 936.4 million rupees.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc rose 2.9 percent, Ceylon Cold Stores Plc climbed 4.1 percent and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc closed 0.3 percent higher.

Foreign investors sold a net 24.9 million rupees worth of shares, but they have been net buyers of 7.3 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year. ($1 = 156.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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