COLOMBO Feb 21 Sri Lankan shares fell for a
seventh straight session on Friday to their lowest closing in
more than seven weeks, led by large caps amid foreign selling in
The main stock index fell 0.32 percent, or 18.88
points, to 5,937.28, its lowest close since Dec. 31. It has
dropped 4.97 percent in the last 13 sessions.
Foreign investors sold a net 438.5 million rupees ($3.35
million) worth of shares on Friday, extending the outflow to
5.27 billion rupees in the past 11 sessions as some offshore
funds exited the market.
The bourse has seen 3.88 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.
On Monday, Sri Lanka's central bank kept its policy rates
steady at multi-year lows while analysts said local investors
were active in the market after interest rates on treasury bills
eased to multi-year lows, making fixed-income assets
Shares of Nestle Lanka fell 3.77 percent to
2,020.90 rupees, while market heavyweight Ceylon Tobacco Company
Plc declined 1.04 percent to 1,157.60 rupees.
Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 0.93
percent to 212.40 rupees.
The index is still 0.41 percent up so far this year,
following a 4.8 percent gain in 2013.
The day's turnover was 1.07 billion rupees, less than this
year's daily average of about 1.15 billion rupees.
($1 = 130.9250 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by