COLOMBO Feb 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Friday, hovering near their 22-month closing low that hit in the previous session, while last-minute trading in conglomerate John Keells Holding Plc boosted the turnover, brokers said.
The bourse hit a 22-month low on Thursday as investors shunned risky assets, and an interest rate hike last week continued to dampen sentiment.
Sri Lanka's benchmark share index closed up 0.02 percent, or 1.34 points, at 6,203.98, little changed from its lowest close since April 29, 2014, that hit the previous session.
It has fallen 10 percent this year, as of Thursday's close.
The index remained in the oversold territory for the fourth day, with the 14-day Relative Strength Index at 28.203, Thomson Reuters data showed.
A level between 70 and 30 indicates the market is neutral.
On Wednesday, 182-day and 364-day t-bill yields rose 50 to 55 basis points at a weekly auction to over two-year high, after the central bank raised key policy rates by 50 basis points from record lows.
"The market is very weak. There is not much happening, except for the John Keells trading, which took place in the latter part of the session. The market will continue its declining trend with the selling pressure due to high interest rates," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
Turnover was 803.5 million rupees ($5.59 million) on Friday, more than this year's daily average of 716.3 million rupees.
John Keells Holdings Plc, which accounted for 80.3 percent of the day's turnover, ended down 0.13 percent.
Foreign investors were net buyers for the first time in six sessions; they bought 29.2 million rupees worth of shares.
Shares in Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 3.2 percent, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc climbed up 3.6 percent.
($1 = 143.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)