Sri Lankan shares end steady; heavyweight John Keells down

COLOMBO, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended steady in thin trade on Tuesday, hovering near a more than three-week closing low hit in the previous session, as investors largely stayed on the sidelines, stockbrokers said.

The benchmark Colombo stock index edged up 0.02 percent to 6,524.46, hovering near its lowest close since August 12 hit on Monday. The bourse fell 0.2 percent last week, posting its second straight weekly loss.

Foreign investors, who have net sold shares worth Rs2.78 billion ($19.13 million) so far this year, bought a net Rs157.5 million worth of shares on Tuesday.

Turnover stood at Rs449.3 million, less than this year’s daily average of Rs753.9 million.

"Investors are on a wait-and-see mode with profit-taking here and there," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Gains led by shares of Ceylon Cold Store Plc and Hemas Holdings Plc, which rose 1.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, were offset by losses led by conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which fell 1.25 percent.

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