Stock market posts near 2-week closing low; rupee extends losses

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares fell for the sixth straight session on Tuesday and closed at their lowest in nearly two weeks as investors sold banking and diversified stocks, while the rupee ended weaker due to importer dollar demand. 

The benchmark stock index ended 0.73% down at 5,846.94, its lowest close since 25 July. It gained 0.37% last week, its sixth straight weekly gain. 

So far this year, the index is down about 3.4%. 

Turnover was Rs. 546.2 million ($3.08 million), less than this year’s daily average of about Rs. 639.7 million so far. Last year’s daily average came in at Rs. 834 million. 

Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 70 million worth of shares on Tuesday, but they have been net buyers of Rs. 504.8 million worth of equities so far this year, according to index data. 

Shares of Hatton National Bank PLC declined 3.4%, Nestle Lanka PLC fell 2.9%, LOLC Holdings PLC closed down 1.7% and conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.8% weaker. 

The rupee slipped for the seventh straight session, closing at 177.45/65 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 176.95/177.05.  The rupee fell 0.73% in the past seven sessions, but is up 2.9% so far this year. 

The Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged on 11 July 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 31 July, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs. 27.31 billion, Central Bank data showed. 


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