Sri Lankan shares edge up; Browns Investments boosts turnover

COLOMBO, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan share index ended slightly firmer on Wednesday with trading dominated by Browns Investments PLC, but the market activity was lacklustre ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates due later in the day.

The main stock index ended 0.19 percent firmer at 6,833.51, moving further away from Monday’s more-than-eight-month closing low.

Browns Investments PLC, which jumped 7.14 percent, accounted for 61 percent of the day’s turnover and 96 percent of the day’s traded share volume.

Turnover stood at 602.9 million rupees ($4.20 million), just above half of this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 16.6 million rupees worth of equities on Wednesday, but they have sold a net 4.03 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Globally, investors readied for what is expected to be the first rise in U.S. interest rates in almost a decade.

The market is expected to be lacklustre with low turnover due to year-end holidays starting next week due to Christmas, stockbrokers said.

Shares in diversified conglomerate Hemas Holdings gained 2.87 percent, while Ceylon Theatres gained 3.7 percent, helping the overall index gain.

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