Sri Lankan shares ended lower for a fifth straight session yesterday as retail investors sold telecom shares while foreign interest, mainly in Hatton National Bank, boosted turnover, brokers said.
The main share index fell 0.02 percent, or 1.21 points, to end at 5,780.09, its lowest since January 15.
Turnover was Rs.1.17 billion ($9.25 million), almost equal to this year’s daily average of Rs.1.18 billion.
“Foreign activity boosted the day’s turnover, but most of the foreign investors sold banking shares with some foreign buying seen,” a stockbroker said on condition of anonymity.
Hatton National Bank fell 0.07 percent to Rs.145, while top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom fell 1.82 percent to Rs.43.20.
Foreign investors were net sellers of Rs.70.59 million worth shares, extending the net selling so far this year to Rs.940 million.
Analysts said many investors were on the sidelines ahead of the Central Bank’s key monetary policy announcement for February on Tuesday. They said investors might wait for another rate cut before buying into equities.
The rupee ended firmer at 126.15/25 to the dollar from Tuesday’s close of 126.30/40 as exporters sold dollars, dealers said.