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Sri Lankan shares close below key level of 6,500
October 13, 2016 / 11:31 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares close below key level of 6,500

COLOMBO, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares closed below a key psychological level of 6,500 on Thursday in thin trade as most investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting directions from corporate results and the budget scheduled for early next month.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell for a fourth straight session and ended 0.35 percent weaker at 6,487.13, its lowest close since Sept. 27. It has shed 1.45 percent in the past four sessions.

“Investors will wait for clear directions on capital gain tax (in the budget),” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers. “So until the budget, we may see low-volume trade.”

Turnover was 372.2 million rupees ($2.54 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of around 750 million rupees.

Foreign investors, who have sold a net 2.37 billion rupees ($16.19 million) worth of shares so far this year, bought a net 88.7 million rupees worth equities.

Trading volumes have been low as cautious investors waited for announcements of corporate results for the September quarter starting later this month and for direction on economic policy when the country’s budget is unveiled early November, brokers said.

Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 1.36 percent, while private lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon dropped 0.47 percent.

$1 = 146.3700 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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