COLOMBO Oct 11 Sri Lankan shares ended weaker
for a second straight session on Tuesday, led by top
conglomerate John Keells Holdings, though foreign
investors' buying and gains in financials helped to cap the
Trading volume was low as cautious investors awaited
direction from the budget and September-quarter corporate
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange
finished 0.37 percent weaker at 6,538.28, its lowest close since
"There was a bit of interest in the banking sector. But the
overall market is still struggling with not many people ready to
invest as tight liquidity has driven up market interest rates,"
said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities
"Outlook is mixed with expectations of better earnings for
the last quarter and rising fixed-income returns ahead of the
budget. Not many people are in for medium- to long-term
investments at the moment. The market will move sideways until
Turnover was 603.7 million rupees ($4.12 million), less than
this year's daily average of around 750 million rupees.
Stockbrokers said the market might see lower trading volumes
as many investors await direction from the budget, scheduled on
Nov. 10, and the government's long-term economic policy
A number of companies are expected to report their
September-quarter results later this month, stockbrokers said.
Foreign investors, who have sold a net 2.73 billion rupees
worth of shares so far this year, bought a net 246.3 million
rupees worth of shares on Tuesday.
Shares of John Keells Holdings fell 1.3 percent.
Banking shares gained with top lender Commercial Bank of
Ceylon rising 0.47 percent and Hatton National Bank
climbing 0.87 percent.
($1 = 146.3700 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)