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Shares fall for third straight session in dull trade


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Reuters: Shares extended fall for a third straight session yesterday as investors sold blue-chip shares, but foreign buying helped limit losses.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.34% weaker at 6,162.49. The index, which is down nearly 3% in the year so far, had recorded its highest close since 29 June last Friday.

Turnover stood at Rs. 161.4 million ($ 1.01 million), less than a third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 873.1 million.

“Today, the market came down on blue-chip selling in dull trade,” said First Capital Holdings PLC Assistant Manager - Research Atchuthan Srirangan. “Investors are waiting to see the direction, and the good sign is that we are seeing net foreign buying for the fifth straight day.”

Foreign investors bought equities worth net Rs. 4.3 million ($ 26,959.25) yesterday, but they have been net sellers of stocks worth Rs. 2.4 billion so far in the year.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate earlier this month by the Central Bank has hurt sentiment, analysts have said.

Economic growth in 2018 is likely to be between 4% and 4.5%, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5%, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said earlier this month.

Shares in Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC fell 9.5%, while conglomerate John Keels Holdings PLC ended 0.9% down. Biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed 1.0% down, Dialog Axiata PLC lost 0.1% and Hemas Holdings PLC ended 1.3% lower.


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