COLOMBO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed lower for a second session on Tuesday on profit-taking, while investors waited for direction on interest rates from a weekly auction of government securities, stock brokers said.
The country’s central bank late on Monday kept its main interest rates steady at record lows as expected, with inflation seen lower in the next few months, and said it was keen to avoid any excessive growth in credit.
Analysts said investors were waiting for direction on market interest rates from a weekly t-bill auction scheduled for Wednesday after the central bank held the policy rates steady.
The country’s main stock index ended 0.11 percent lower, or down 8.19 points, at 7,298.75, not far off its lowest close since July 23 hit on Aug. 25.
Foreign investors were net sellers of 96.7 million rupees ($718,959.11) worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the year to date net foreign outflow to 3.45 billion rupees.
Turnover stood at 732.2 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of 1.16 billion rupees, as investors awaited President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech at the first parliament session on Wednesday.
Shares in DFCC Bank Plc fell 2.51 percent while Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc fell 0.80 percent, dragging down the overall index.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 0.33 percent while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 0.36 percent. ($1 = 134.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)