November 6, 2017 / 12:47 PM / in a year

Sri Lankan stocks fall to 2-wk closing low; cbank rate move, budget awaited

COLOMBO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell on Monday to a two-week closing low as investors awaited the central bank’s monetary policy decision and the national budget presentation scheduled this week.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.28 percent weaker at 6,602.72, its lowest since Oct. 24.

“It was a dull trade as local retail investors were awaiting for direction from the budget. The September quarterly earnings are also either flat or negative, which also failed to boost the sentiment,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Sampath Bank lost 1.3 percent, while Nestle Lanka fell 0.6 percent.

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

The central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady on Tuesday to support the sluggish economy despite a pick-up in inflation amid strong credit growth, a Reuters poll showed.

Foreign investors bought shares net worth 15.8 million rupees ($102,898), extending the year-to-date net inflows to 20.4 billion rupees in equities.

The session’s turnover was 588.3 million rupees, lower than this year’s average daily turnover of 941.1 million rupees.

$1 = 153.5500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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