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Shares end flat in lacklustre trade


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Reuters: Shares closed flat on Tuesday, near a more than one-week closing low, with beverage and manufacturing shares witnessing mild selling, a day after fuel prices were hiked for the third time in four months.

Sri Lankan fuel retailers raised gasoline and diesel prices for a third time in four months on Tuesday due to higher global oil prices and a weaker rupee, a finance ministry official said. Turnover was Rs. 337.3 million ($ 2.08 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of Rs. 792.8 million.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.02% weaker at 6,095.23, its lowest close since 3 September. It had risen 0.6% last week in its third straight weekly gain.

“The market came down marginally today, but the good sign is we see some net foreign buying,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Analysts said investors also waited for cues from the national budget which the Government is set to unveil in November.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 74.7 million of shares on Tuesday, but they have been net sellers of Rs. 4.4 billion worth of shares so far this year.

Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.2% while Lanka ORIX leasing Plc lost 2.2%.


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