COLOMBO Feb 18 Sri Lankan shares fell for a
fourth straight session on Tuesday to a six-week low as foreign
investors dumped the island nation's risky assets on a day of
The main stock index ended lower 0.57 percent, or
34.45 points, at 6,021.66, its lowest close since Jan. 7. It has
lost 3.62 percent in the last 10 straight session.
Foreign investors sold a net 229.52 million rupees ($1.75
million) worth of shares on Tuesday, extending outflows to 4.87
billion rupees in the past eight sessions as some offshore funds
exited the market.
The bourse has seen 3.48 billion rupees of foreign outflows
so far in 2014, after enjoying net inflows of 22.88 billion
rupees last year.
Analysts said investors were waiting for direction on
foreign selling and concerned over further outflows, though
local investors are still optimistic about risky assets due to
falling interest rates.
On Monday, Sri Lanka's central bank kept its policy rates
steady at multi-year lows, with inflation expected to be
contained throughout 2014 by "well-managed demand conditions and
improved domestic supply".
Analysts said local investors were active in the market
after interest rates on treasury bills eased to multi-year lows,
making fixed-income assets unattractive.
Shares of Ceylon Tobacco Co Plc fell 2.44 percent
to 1,209.70 rupees, while Distillers Sri Lanka Plc
fell 3.3 percent to 208 rupees, pulling the overall index down.
Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc lost 0.68
percent to close at 218.40 rupees.
The index has risen 1.84 percent so far this year, following
a 4.8 percent gain in 2013.
The day's turnover was 604.1 million rupees, just half of
this year's daily average of about 1.2 billion rupees.
($1 = 130.8250 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by