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Shares end at 1-week low; rupee weaker

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(Colombo) REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares recovered from an intraday fall of over 1 percent to close flat yesterday, while the rupee ended weaker due to importer dollar demand.
The country’s benchmark stock index ended 0.04 percent down at 5,894.70, a one-week low. However, the bourse is up 0.37 percent for the week, its sixth straight weekly gain. 
So far this year, the index is down about 2.61 percent.


The stock market had a turnover of Rs.900.2 million (US$ 5.10 million), more than this year’s daily average of about Rs.641.1 million so far. Last year’s daily average came in at 
Rs.834 million. 


Foreign investors sold a net Rs.112.5 million worth of shares yesterday, but they have been net buyers of Rs.513.9 million worth of equities so far this year, 
according to index data. 


Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 2 percent, Melsacrop Ltd declined 2.2 percent, Ceylon Cold Store Plc dropped 3.2 percent and the biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.5  percent weaker. 


Meanwhile, the currency slipped for a fifth straight session and ended at 176.60/70 per dollar compared with Thursday’s close of 176.50/60. 


The rupee fell 0.25 percent for the week, but is up 3.5 percent so far this year. 


The Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged on July 11 as expected, after cutting them in May to support the economy as tourism and investment plummeted in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in April. 


Foreign investors sold a net Rs.3.74 billion worth of government securities in the week ended July 24, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.22.19 billion, Central Bank 
data showed.

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