November 7, 2017 / 12:08 PM / 9 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks edge down in thin trade; budget awaited

COLOMBO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares inched lower on Tuesday, with trading volume slumping to a more than six-week low, as investors awaited the national budget presentation scheduled later this week.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.1 percent weaker at 6,595.89, its lowest since Oct. 24.

The turnover was 260.2 million rupees ($1.7 million), a quarter of this year’s average daily turnover of 937.8 million rupees.

“Investors are waiting for the budget, and quarterly earning have also failed to inspire investors,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Sri Lanka’s central bank on Tuesday revised down its economic growth forecast to between 4 percent and 4.5 percent for this year after holding its key interest rates steady as it focuses on supporting a faltering economy hit by extreme weather.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Thursday.

Shares in top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell 1 percent, while No. 1 mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata , which posted a 29.4 percent gain in its September-quarter earnings, closed 0.8 percent weaker.

Foreign investors sold shares net worth 82 million rupees in the session, but they have bought 20.3 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year.

$1 = 153.3500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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