COLOMBO Jan 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares snapped a seven-session streak of declines on Friday, recovering from a near three-week closing low hit in the previous session, as investors picked up battered blue-chip and banking shares.
However, foreign investors, who have been net buyers of 2.7 billion rupees worth shares so far this year, sold equities worth net 62.1 million rupees ($403,640) on Friday.
They bought equities worth 18.5 billion rupees last year and 633.5 million rupees in 2016.
The Colombo Stock index ended 0.52 percent higher at 6,443.50. In the previous session, it closed at its lowest since Dec. 29.
The bourse shed 2 percent in the past seven sessions, and dropped 0.47 percent for the week recording its second straight weekly fall.
"Today we are seeing a lot of foreign activities, but the local investors are buying blue-chip shares," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.
"It looks like local, mainly high net worth investors, are eager to buy now," he added.
Turnover stood at 1.7 billion rupees, nearly twice of last year's daily average of 915.3 million rupees.
After the market close, diversified company Hemas Holdings Plc said it will take over 75.1 percent of leading stationery manufacturer Atlas Axillia Co (Pvt) Ltd for 5.7 billion rupees.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 2.5 percent higher, while Hemas Holdings closed 2.5 percent up, and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc ended 2.5 percent higher.
($1 = 153.8500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)