Reuters: The share index ended at its highest close in more than five weeks on Wednesday, gaining for a sixth straight session, but many market participants stayed away due to extended holidays after the Sinhala-Tamil New Year festival last weekend.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.12% higher at 6,551.83, its highest close since 13 March. The index gained 0.44% last week.
Turnover stood at Rs. 188.3 million ($1.21 million), well below this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.13 billion.
“The turnover level was very low with most investors still on holiday. The index, however, is up on blue-chip buying in low volumes,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, Assistant Manager – Research, First Capital Holdings PLC.
Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc ended 2.8% higher, while the biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc closed up 1.1%, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc closed 0.4% higher.
The market was waiting for some political stability after President Maithripala Sirisena suspended Parliament until 8 May, brokers said.
Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs. 24.3 million on Wednesday, but they have net sold Rs. 1.33 billion worth of equities so far this year. The Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points early this month, as policy makers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.