Sri Lankan stocks close steady ahead of cenbank policy meeting

COLOMBO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Tuesday as investors awaited directions from a key central bank policy meeting later in the day.

The Central Bank is expected to keep its key interest rates steady at the meeting after raising them by 50 basis points last month, a Reuters poll showed, amid signs of easing inflation and slower private sector credit growth.

The benchmark Colombo stock index ended up 0.02 percent at 6,541.80, after posting its lowest close since August 12 on Monday.

The market moved sideways as investors waited for directions from the policy meeting, said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Turnover stood at Rs727.3 million, just below this year’s daily average of Rs753.4 million.

Foreign investors sold a net Rs225.8 million ($1.55 million) worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs3.94 billion worth of equities.

Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc rose 2.5 percent, Overseas Realty Ceylon Plc gained 4 percent and top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.3 percent.

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