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Shares edge lower from 3-week high in dull trade


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Reuters: Shares ended weaker yesterday, slipping from the last session’s three-week closing high, but foreign buying prevented steeper losses.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.1% weaker at 6,184.68, edging lower from its highest close since 29 June hit on Friday. The bourse rose 0.86% last week, but has fallen 2.9% year to date.

Turnover was Rs. 238.4 million ($ 1.5 million) in the session, less than a quarter of this year’s daily average of Rs. 877.6 million.

“The selling pressure was absorbed by foreign buying, which is a good sign,” said First Capital Holdings Head of Research Dimantha Mathew.

Foreign investors bought equities net worth Rs. 98.1 million yesterday, but they have been net sellers of stocks worth Rs. 2.5 billion so far this year.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate 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 1.6%, while Distillers Company of Sri Lanka PLC ended 1.9% weaker and conglomerate John Keels Holdings PLC ended 0.7% down.


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