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Sri Lankan shares end at over 8-month low ahead of Fed decision

COLOMBO, Dec 14 (Reuters) – The Sri Lankan share index fell to its lowest close in more than eight months on Monday led by blue chips and large-cap stocks as investors turned cautious ahead of an interest rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve and holidays next week.

The main stock index ended 0.43 percent weaker at 6,803.08, its lowest close since March 30.

"Market is down on lacklustre trade. Foreigners are exiting while the market is in the red zone while retail market is also dull," said Yohan Samarakkody, head of research at SC Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Foreign investors sold a net 184.6 million rupees worth of shares on Monday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 3.94 billion rupees worth of equities.

Turnover stood at 557 million rupees ($3.88 million), around half of this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

Volatility swept through world markets on Monday with China’s yuan hitting a fresh multi-year year low and oil’s continued travails adding to nervousness before an expected hike in U.S. interest rates later this week.

Analysts say many investors and brokers will be on year-end holidays from next week due to Christmas.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc was down 1.08 percent, while Bukit Darah Plc fell 4.71 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc eased 1.08 percent.
 (Colombo/December 14, 2015)

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