March 12, 2018 / 12:48 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan stocks muted as investors await fresh cues

COLOMBO, March 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended little changed on Monday, a week after attacks aimed at Muslim-owned properties by Sinhala Buddhist hardliners hurt sentiment, as investors awaited for fresh cues, dealers said.

The situation has improved in the communal violence-hit district of Kandy, but foreign investors were seen largely keeping to the sidelines for want of a clear direction.

Sri Lankan police on Friday said they were investigating whether 10 suspected ringleaders of a wave of attacks on Muslims by Sinhalese Buddhists had outside funding or foreign help.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.05 percent weaker at 6,547.73. It fell 0.1 last week.

Turnover was 540.1 million rupees ($3.47 million) on Monday, well below this year’s daily average of around 950 million rupees.

“The market is holding on,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

“The dampened sentiment we saw last week is not there. Foreigners were also trading in selective counters while locally, retailers traded in second tier counters.”

Foreign investors sold a net 37.8 million rupees worth of shares on Monday, but they have been net buyers of 6.1 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year.

Shares in Carson Cumberbatch Plc fell 4.2 percent while, Commercial Leasing Plc ended 6.5 percent down, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 1.04 percent and Dialog Axiata Plc lost 0.7 percent.

$1 = 155.6000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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