September 25, 2017 / 11:30 AM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares fall to one-week low as blue chips decline

COLOMBO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan stocks fell for a third straight session on Monday to a one-week closing low as investors sold shares in market heavyweights ahead of the central bank’s policy rate decision.

Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, to support a stuttering economy even as inflation accelerates amid strong credit growth.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.24 percent weaker at 6,412.07, its lowest close since Sept. 18.

Shares of Nestle Lanka Plc fell 0.9 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.6 percent weaker, and Browns Investments Plc dropped 3.1 percent.

“Most of the investors are on the sidelines awaiting the policy rates decision,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO of Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Turnover stood at 793.9 million rupees ($5.19 million), compared with this year’s daily average of about 919 million rupees.

Foreign investors who bought a net 17.7 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year turned net sellers for the first time in six sessions. They sold 59.2 million rupees worth of shares on Monday. ($1 = 152.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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