Sri Lanka shares gain after wartime defense chief launches presidential bid
Posted on August 13th, 2019

Courtesy London South East

COLOMBO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares closed marginally higher on Tuesday, easing from early gains of 1.2%, after the main opposition party named a hardline former defence chief as presidential candidate, seeking to capitalise on public clamour for a decisive leader.

** The rupee ended slightly weaker on importer greenback demand.

** The benchmark stock index gained 1.26% as soon as trading resumed on Tuesday. Markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. The index ended 0.1% firmer at 5,949.30, its highest close since July 30. It gained 0.82% last week. ** Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, served under his older brother, ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and is widely seen as the frontrunner in a presidential election that must be held before Dec 9. Gotabaya is immensely popular among Sri Lanka’s powerful Sinhala Buddhist majority, who credit him with ending the island nation’s 26-year-long civil war in 2009 and believe Colombo needs a seasoned hand after the April 21 bombings. nL4N256051] ** Market sources said early gains could not be sustained as retail investors sold shares.

** So far this year, the index dropped about 1.7 %.

** Turnover was 2.69 billion rupees ($15.21 million), more than six times of this year’s daily 

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