Tuesday, 19 June 2018 06:33

Stocks extend losses, hit 14-month low

Reuters: Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth consecutive session yesterday to their lowest close in more than a year, as foreign investors sold shares, with block deals boosting the day’s turnover.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.33% weaker at 6,310.51, its lowest close since April 11, 2017. The index dropped 0.4% last week, marking its fourth straight weekly fall.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth Rs. 98.8 million ($618,000), extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to Rs. 872.4 million of shares.

Turnover stood at Rs. 1.3 billion, more than this year’s daily average of 961.3 million.

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC fell 0.9%, while Hatton National Bank PLC ended 0.5% lower and conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.6% weaker.

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

Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, slowing from 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017, the state-run Department of Census and Statistics said after the market closed.

A weaker rupee, political uncertainty and the recent fuel price hike has weighed on sentiment over the past few weeks, with local investors remaining on the sidelines as they gauge the impact of floods last month, brokers said.

(FT)

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