July 06 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended over 1% lower for a third straight session on Wednesday, ahead of a widely expected rate hike at the central bank’s policy meeting.
At the end of trade, the CSE All-Share index was down 1.67% at 7,117.35.
Sri Lanka’s central bank is expected to raise interest rates on Thursday to fight record-high inflation and move forward bailout talks with the IMF.
Ten of a dozen economists and analysts said they expected a rate increase ranging between 100 and 300 basis points, a Reuters poll showed.
Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades, unable to pay for essential imports such as fuel and medicine due to a severe shortage of foreign exchange.
On the CSE All-Share index, trading volume fell to 51.5 million shares from 52.6 million shares in the previous session.
The equity market turnover was 928.3 million rupees ($2.59 million), according to exchange data.
Foreign investors were net buyers in the equity market, purchasing 34.7 million rupees worth of shares, while domestic investors were net sellers, offloading 975.5 million rupees worth of shares, the data showed.