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Stock market hits over 3-month closing high on retail buying


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Reuters - Shares rose for a second straight session on Friday and hit their highest close in more than three months, helped by retail buying in blue-chip stocks.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.45% firmer at 6,572.29, its highest close since 8 November. The bourse rose 0.8% during the week recording its third straight weekly gain.

“Retail buying helped boost the market,” Acuity Stockbrokers CEO Prashan Fernando said.

Foreign buying in Softlogic Holdings by a middle eastern fund and speculation over Swarnamahal Finance Services PLC, which is facing financial difficulties, getting a business partner to continue the business, helped retail interest, he added.

Softlogic Holdings PLC rose 6.5%, Janashakthi Insurance Company PLC ended 0.98% weaker, and Swarnamahal Financial Service PLC ended steady.

Shares in large-caps Bukit Dhara PLC jumped 22.7% and Carson Cumberbatch PLC ended 6.5% higher.

The long-delayed local government election is to be held today amid worries about the future of the ruling coalition government.

The market turnover stood at Rs. 451.7 million ($2.93 million), well below last year’s daily average of Rs. 915.3 million.

Foreign investors bought a net 90.7 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 5.0 billion rupees worth of equities.


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