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Sri Lankan shares fall from near 2-wk high ahead of budget

First Capital’s Head of Research, Dimantha Mathew, speaks to Reuters Friday November 04, 2016

Sri Lankan shares fell on Friday from a near two-week high hit in the previous session as investors waited for cues from the national budget scheduled on Nov. 10.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.11 percent weaker, or 6.92 points, at 6,435.17, slipping from its highest close since Oct. 21 hit on Thursday.

Turnover stood at 275.7 million rupees ($1.86 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 718.9 million.

However, foreign investors bought beaten down stocks for a third straight session, picking up shares worth a net 90.6 million rupees. They have net sold 1.21 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

“The momentum was short lived,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. “Investors turned to wait-and-see approach again. They are awaiting direction from the budget.”

Shares in Nestle Lanka Plc fell 2.37 percent while Ceylon Tea Services Plc fell 9.20 percent.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.39 percent. The company on Friday reported an 8 percent rise in second quarter net profit.

($1 = 147.9500 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)