Sri Lankan shares end near 5-mth high as industrials, financials gain

Aug 6 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended at near five-month highs on Thursday, lifted by industrial and financial stocks, as the country counts votes for a parliament election which President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party is widely expected to win.

** The benchmark CSE All Share Index ended 0.59% higher at 5,176.85, its highest closing level since March 11.

** Around 70% of eligible Sri Lankans voted in Wednesday’s election to the 225-member parliament, shrugging off fears of the novel coronavirus.

** Among stocks, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 1.8% and was the top boost to the index, while Ceylinco Insurance Plc gained 2.9% and Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc advanced 3.3%.

** Asian Hotels and Properties Plc jumped 8.6% on its best day in more than a month, following a slump in the previous session.

** Foreign investors were net sellers, offloading 248.4 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.34 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index rose to 45 million shares from 30.4 million in the previous session.

** Equity market turnover was 889.2 million Sri Lankan rupees.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 185.4 against the dollar as of 1114 GMT, according to Refinitiv data.

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 185.4000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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