Sri Lankan shares down marginally; John Keells boosts turnover
COLOMBO, June 5
COLOMBO, June 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended a tad weaker on Thursday, hovering near their lowest close in more than three weeks hit on Friday, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings boosted turnover, brokers said.
Analysts said continued foreign buying and expectation that interest rates would come down further will boost market sentiment.
The main stock index ended 0.09 percent, or 5.90 points, weaker at 6,280.16. On Friday, it had closed at its lowest level since May 7.
Turnover was 896.2 million rupees ($6.88 million), less than this year's daily average of 1 billion rupees.
The bourse saw a net foreign inflow for the sixth straight session. Foreign investors bought 514.1 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflows to 3.88 billion rupees.
Analysts said the market expects a further fall in interest rates after central bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters on Friday that the central bank is creating room to cut interest rates further.
Cabraal signalled "a lot a space being created for some more dovish action".
Stockbrokers expect the market to gain in the near future due to lower interest rates after the central bank kept key rates at multi-year lows in May for the fourth straight month, as expected.
Shares of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC fell 2.71 percent to 46.70 rupees, while Bukit Darah PLC fell 1.56 percent to 650 rupees.
Conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC, which accounted for 58.28 percent of the day's turnover, closed flat at 235 rupees. ($1 = 130.3450 Sri Lankan Rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)