Sri Lankan stocks end lower; turnover slumps

COLOMBO, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended down on Monday, while turnover slumped to its lowest in six weeks as investors stayed on the sidelines, stockbrokers said.

The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.24 percent weaker at 6,523.47, its lowest close since August 12. The bourse fell 0.2 percent last week, posting its second straight weekly loss.

Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of shares to the tune of Rs2.93 billion ($20.48 million) so far this year bought a net Rs47 million worth of shares on Monday.

Turnover stood at Rs280.7 million ($1.93 million), the lowest since July 26 and well below this year’s daily average of Rs755.8 million.

"The market is slow as it takes a breather," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

"There is not a lot of selling pressure, as investors are bullish on the longer run and they do not want to sell. They are waiting to buy at lower levels."

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.36 percent, while Bukit Darah Plc ended 1.99 percent, pulling the overall index down.

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