October 23, 2017 / 11:53 AM / 10 months ago

Sri Lankan shares end steady ahead of corporate results, budget

COLOMBO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended little changed on Monday, hovering near a two-week low hit last week, as investors waited for direction from upcoming corporate results and the national budget next month, brokers said.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Nov. 9.

The Colombo stock index finished 0.03 percent weaker at 6,570.56, hovering near its lowest close since Oct. 10 hit on Thursday. The index fell 0.9 percent last week, its first weekly fall in six.

“Block deals pushed the turnover, while the index is stagnant with low retail participation,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, senior research analyst at First Capital Holdings PLC.

Gains led by beverages and telecom shares were offset by losses in banking stocks, the data showed.

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 0.9 percent lower, while Sampath Bank Plc , which accounted for 51 percent of the day’s turnover on a block deal, closed down 0.9 percent.

Ceylon Cold Store Plc climbed 1 percent higher, while Sri Lanka Telecom rose 0.3 percent.

Turnover stood at 1 billion rupees ($6.51 million), less than this year’s daily average of 938.4 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of shares worth 17 million rupees on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.2 billion rupees worth of shares. ($1 = 153.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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