(Colombo) REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares fell for the fifth straight session yesterday and closed at their lowest in more than one week, as investors sold banking and telecom stocks, while the rupee ended weaker due to importer dollar demand.
The country’s benchmark stock index ended 0.09 percent down at 5,889.67, its lowest close since July 26. The bourse gained 0.37 percent last week, recoding its sixth straight weekly gain.
So far this year, the index is down about 2.7 percent.
Turnover was Rs.534.3 million, less than this year’s daily average of about Rs.640.4 million so far. Last year’s daily average came in at
Foreign investors bought a net Rs.60.9 million worth of shares yesterday, extending the year-to-date net foreign buying to Rs.574.8 million worth of equities, according to index data. Shares of Sampath Bank PLC declined 2 percent, Hemas Holdings PLC fell 2.4 percent, Dialog Axiata PLC closed down 0.9 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom PLC ended 1.8 percent weaker.
Meanwhile, the rupee slipped for a sixth straight session and ended at 176.95/177.05 per dollar, compared with Friday’s
close of 176.60/70.
The rupee fell 0.25 percent last week, but is up 3.2 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.5.11 billion worth of government securities in the week ended July 31, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs.27.31 billion, Central Bank data showed.