October 12, 2016 / 12:52 PM / in a year

Sri Lankan shares end at 2-week low ahead of corporate results

COLOMBO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares hit a two-week closing low on Wednesday, their third straight session of losses, as increased risk appetite by foreign investors failed to offset selling pressure on index heavyweights and financials ahead of corporate results.

Trading volumes were moderate as cautious investors waited for announcements of corporate results for the September quarter starting later this month and for direction on economic policy when the country’s budget is unveiled early November, brokers said.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.43 percent weaker at 6,510.18, its lowest close since Sept. 27.

“Similar sentiment will prevail until the next month budget,” said Prasad Fernando, CEO at Acuity Research.

Turnover was 609.3 million rupees ($4.16 million), less than this year’s daily average of around 750 million rupees.

Foreign investors, who have sold a net 2.46 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year, bought a net 270 million rupees worth equities on Wednesday.

Top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom lost 1.85 percent, while John Keells Holdings fell 0.39 percent.

Hatton National Bank and L B Finance, both of which accounted for around 50 percent of the turnover mainly due to purchases by foreign investors, ended 1.34 percent and 0.08 percent weaker, respectively.

$1 = 146.3700 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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