Nov 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended lower on Wednesday, weighed down by financial stocks ahead of the central bank's monetary policy decision on Thursday.
The CSE All-Share index (.CSE) closed down 0.17% at 10,910.06 points.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is expected to raise rates a second time since the onset of the pandemic to curtail inflationary pressures, manage external challenges and attract foreign inflows, economists and analysts said. read more
Financial heavy weights Commercial Leasing and Finance Plc (COLE.CM) and LOLC Finance Plc (LOLF.CM) were the top drags, falling 4.19% and 7.25%, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka rowed back on its goal to become the first country to fully adopt organic farming on Wednesday by removing the ban on the use and importation of chemical fertilisers after months of mass protests by farmers and a surge in food price inflation. read more
Diversified agribusiness company Watawala Plantations Plc (WATA.CM) surged 11%.
The equity market's turnover was 7.56 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($37.33 million) according to stock exchange data.
Trading volume on the exchange rose to 316.8 million shares from 216.2 million shares in the previous session.
Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth about 161.3 million rupees, as per exchange data.
The island-nation reported 740 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 558,860, data from the country's health bureau showed.
Total death toll was at 14,182, according to the data.
About 62.91% of the country's population is fully vaccinated so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.