COLOMBO, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares snapped three straight sessions of gains to end lower on Monday as investors booked profits and waited for cues from the central bank’s August monetary policy meeting later in the day.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is expected to keep its policy rates unchanged at record lows at the policy meeting, a Reuters poll showed.
The country’s main stock index ended 0.59 percent lower, or down 43.58 points, at 7,306.94, not far off its lowest close since July 23 hit last Tuesday.
"Investors are sceptical and the market is down on low trade," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.
Foreign investors were net buyers for the first time in seven sessions on Monday, purchasing a net 29.7 million rupees ($220,817.84) worth of shares on Monday. They have however been net sellers of 3.35 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Turnover stood at 517.8 million rupees, its lowest since July 21 and around half this year’s daily average of 1.16 billion rupees.
Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 1.69 percent while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 1.59 percent, dragging down the overall index.