September 11, 2018 / 11:52 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares end flat in lacklustre trade

COLOMBO, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed flat on Tuesday, near a more than one-week closing low, with beverage and manufacturing shares witnessing mild selling, a day after fuel prices were hiked for the third time in four months.

Sri Lankan fuel retailers raised gasoline and diesel prices for a third time in four months on Tuesday due to higher global oil prices and a weaker rupee, a finance ministry official said.

Turnover was 337.3 million rupees ($2.08 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 792.8 million rupees.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.02 percent weaker at 6,095.23, its lowest close since Sept. 3. It had risen 0.6 percent last week in its third straight weekly gain.

“The market came down marginally today, but the good sign is we see some net foreign buying,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Analysts said investors also waited for cues from the national budget which the government is set to unveil in November.

Foreign investors bought a net 74.7 million rupees of shares on Tuesday, but they have been net sellers of 4.4 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.2 percent while Lanka ORIX leasing Plc lost 2.2 percent.

$1 = 162.2500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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