The main stock index ended up 0.53 percent at 7,153.90, edging up from its lowest since Sept. 5 hit on Thursday. "The market was in a negative mood and there was no buying interest at all. But suddenly buying interest came from nowhere at the last minute," said Dimantha Mathew manager, research at First Capital Equities (pvt) Ltd. "Until the last moment market was struggling with no direction. No investor was interested in the market.
But during the final hour, things changed significantly and saw a steep upward trend." Investors expect the market to be volatile over political uncertainty while some investors said prices have fallen to attractive levels.
Eight loyalists from President Mahinda Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance, including Health Minister Mithripala Sirisena, have defected since Rajapaksa announced a snap poll last week. Sirisena has resigned to contest against Rajapaksa as the consensus candidate of a united opposition.
Speculation over more defections weighed on sentiment, analysts said.
Friday's turnover was 2.08 billion rupees ($15.88 million), exchange data showed, well above this year's daily average of 1.45 billion rupees. Foreign investors bought a net 323.8 million rupees worth of stocks, extending purchases during the year to 20.45 billion rupees, exchange data showed. Shares in Lanka IOC Plc rose 4.4 percent, leading the overall gain, while fixed-line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 1.5 percent.