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Sri Lanka shares slip in dull trade ahead of holiday

COLOMBO, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended a tad weaker in thin trade on Monday despite foreign buying as investors sold blue-chips ahead of a holiday.

The main stock index ended down 0.13 percent at 7,050.21, slipping from its highest close since Oct. 29 hit on Friday.

Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of 3.76 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, bought a net 64.9 million rupees worth of shares on Monday.

The day’s turnover was 491.8 million rupees ($3.47 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

"Overall, there was low activity. Nothing much happened as many people were not in due to the holiday on Tuesday," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Both the stock and foreign exchange markets will be closed on Tuesday for Diwali, a Hindu religious holiday.

Analysts said investors are waiting for more clarity on economic policies from the 2016 budget announcement, scheduled on Nov. 20.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 1.08 percent, while Distillers Company of Sri Lanka Plc lost 0.71 percent, dragging the overall index. (Colombo/November 09 2015)

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