December 27, 2017 / 11:11 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks hit 3-wk closing high in holiday-thinned trading

COLOMBO, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares touched a near three-week closing high on Wednesday as investors waited for clues from the central bank’s monetary policy review later in the week, with trading muted by the holidays after Christmas.

Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates unchanged this week, a Reuters poll showed, as policymakers focus on supporting the slowing South Asian economy while remaining vigilant to still high inflationary pressures.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.14 percent firmer at 6,359.06, its highest since Dec. 8.

“Trading blue chip counters moved up slightly helping the index to end positive but the market is very dull as most of the brokers and investors are on holiday,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

Shares in Peoples Leasing Plc rose 0.6 percent, while Overseas Realty Plc ended 2.9 percent higher and Hemas Holdings Plc gained 0.8 percent.

Turnover stood at 263.3 million rupees ($1.73 million), just above a quarter of this year’s daily average of 920.5 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold 130.1 million rupees net worth of shares on Wednesday, but they have bought 18.2 billion rupees net worth equities so far this year. ($1 = 152.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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