Sri Lankan stocks dip to over 8-wk low; index oversold

COLOMBO Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:23am EST

COLOMBO Feb 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth straight session on Monday to their lowest close in more than eight weeks, led by large caps amid foreign selling in risky assets as the index fell into oversold territory.

The main stock index fell 0.91 percent, or 54.23 points, to 5,883.05, its lowest close since Dec. 27.

The index has dropped 4.84 percent in the last 14 sessions, erasing all the gains made since start of this year. It is down 0.50 percent so far this year, following a 4.8 percent gain in 2013.

The index has fallen into overbought territory, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Foreign investors sold a net 24.1 million rupees ($184,000) worth of shares on Monday, extending the outflow to 5.90 billion rupees in the past 12 sessions as some offshore funds exited the market.

The bourse has seen 3.90 billion rupees of foreign outflows so far in 2014, after enjoying net inflows of 22.88 billion rupees last year.

Analysts said investors were concerned over possible further foreign outflows, though local investors are still optimistic about risky assets due to falling interest rates.

Shares of market heavyweight Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 3.28 percent to 1,119.60 rupees while top conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 1.55 percent to 209.00 rupees.

The day's turnover was 499.4 million rupees, well below this year's daily average of about 1.13 billion rupees. ($1 = 130.9500 Sri Lanka rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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