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Sri Lankan shares, rupee steady ahead of president address
September 1, 2015 / 8:02 AM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares, rupee steady ahead of president address

COLOMBO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s stock and forex markets were steady in thin trade on Tuesday ahead of President Maithripala Sirisena’s address on government policies.

The newly elected Parliament held its first session on Tuesday, and Sirisena is expected to address the session at 0930 GMT.

The cabinet of ministers is expected to be announced later in the week, government sources said.

Analysts said investors were also waiting for some direction on both market interest and exchange rates after the central bank held key policy rates steady late on Monday as expected.

The country’s main stock index fell 0.03 percent, or 2.52 points, to 7,304.42.

“A slow day, nothing much is happening as investors are on a watchful note. They are waiting to see the direction of the market interest rates and the exchange rate,” said Dimantha Mathew, a research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Turnover stood at 517.8 million rupees ($3.85 million).

The rupee traded steady as a state-run bank, through which the central bank usually directs the market, sold dollars at 134.50 a day after it raised the currency’s peg against the dollar for a second straight session.

Currency dealers expect the central bank to let the rupee weaken due to importer dollar demand and a global trend of currencies falling against the dollar. ($1 = 134.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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