COLOMBO, March 21 Sri Lankan shares were little
changed on Tuesday in lacklustre trade, hovering near a one-year
closing low hit last week, as investors stayed on the sidelines
ahead of the central bank's policy review.
The Colombo stock index ended flat at 6,041.59, near
its lowest close since March 16, 2016 hit on Thursday.
Turnover stood at 283.3 million rupees ($1.9 million), less
than half of this year's daily average of 665 million rupees.
The index has lost 1.2 percent since March 7, when the
International Monetary Fund called for monetary policy
tightening if credit growth or inflation did not abate.
The central bank's second monetary policy review of the year
is due on Friday.
"The market is closely watching for the monetary policy rate
announcement and sovereign bonds," said Jaliya Wijeratne, who
heads First Capital Equities.
"Local investors are just waiting for some direction, but
foreign investors are buying counters."
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 160.8 million
rupees, raising the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 2.66
billion rupees in equities.
Shares in Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc rose
8 percent, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc gained
2.3 percent and Dialog Axiata Plc rose 0.9 percent.
($1 = 151.5000 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by