COLOMBO Feb 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Friday in thin trading volume as investors awaited cues on the macro economy amid a rise in interest rates and as global economic concerns dented sentiment.

The main stock index ended 0.03 percent firmer at 6,404.64.

Stockbrokers said local participation was low as some investors were on holiday in the short trading week. Markets were closed on Thursday for independence day.


"Interest rates are slowly picking up and the market is concerned over that," a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.

Turnover was 307.9 million rupees ($2.14 million), less than half of this year's daily average of 828.5 million rupees.

The index had fallen 7.1 percent this year through Friday as foreign investors, unnerved by global concerns over China's economy, cut their exposure.

Foreign investors sold a net 60.6 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 259.3 million rupees.

Analysts said a rising trend in local interest rates has been a concern and local stocks could come under further pressure.


Yields on treasury bills rose between 7 and 23 basis points at a weekly auction on Tuesday with yields on 182-day and 364-day T-bills rising to more-than-two-year highs, signalling a further rise in market interest rates, which move in tandem with the yields.

Shares of market heavyweight John Keells Holdings Plc rose 0.31 percent, while Sri Lanka Telecom lost 3.6 percent.

($1 = 143.9500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)