Reuters: Shares hit a five-week closing high in thin trade on Tuesday, rising for a fifth straight session, as many market participants stayed away due to extended holidays after the Sinhala-Tamil New Year festival over the weekend, brokers said.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.74 percent higher at 6,544.25, its highest close since 13 March. The index gained 0.44% last week.
Shares of Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc rose 10.2 percent, while Melstacorp Ltd. ended 1% higher. Ceylinco Insurance Plc rose 5.2%, while fixed line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc closed 2.2% firmer.
Turnover stood at Rs. 315.4 million ($ 2.02 million), less than this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.13 billion.
“Market is up on low volumes. Lack of investors in the market resulted in the low volumes, most investors are on holidays and not active still,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings. 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. 9.5 million on Tuesday, but they have net sold Rs. 1.36 billion worth of equities so far this year.
The Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points last week, as policymakers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.