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CSE at more than 5-month closing low; blue-chips drag


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Reuters: Shares fell for a third straight session yesterday and ended at a more than five-month low, dragged down by diversified shares such as John Keells Holdings PLC, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.14% weaker at 6,354.92, its lowest close since 26 December.

"It was a slow day and we saw some foreign buying, which is a good sign. But most of the investors are waiting for better bargains," said Softlogic Stockbrokers Deputy CEO Hussain Gani.

"Economic concerns and the rupee depreciation are the key concern for investors."

Most of the investors have adopted a wait-and-watch approach, hoping for some positive news on the economic front, analysts said.

Turnover was Rs. 326.2 million ($2.05 million), a third of this year's daily average of Rs. 975.8 million.

Foreign investors bought net Rs. 12.5 million worth of equities yesterday. The market, however, has witnessed a year-to-date net foreign outflow of Rs. 554.6 million worth of shares.

A weaker rupee, political uncertainty and the recent fuel price hike weighed on sentiment in the past week with local investors remaining on the sidelines as they gauged the impact of the floods that killed 24 people in the island nation last month, brokers said.

The rupee touched a record low of 158.90 per dollar on Thursday owing to the greenback demand from importers.

Shares in the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, fell 0.9% while Sri Lanka Telecom PLC ended 2.7% weaker. Conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.5% weaker and Access Engineering PLC lost 4.0%.

 


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