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Sri Lanka shares at new 2-yr low on economic fears

 COLOMBO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares plumbed a
new two-year low for a second straight day on Friday, falling
0.16 percent with local and global economic conditions
continuing to weaken investor sentiment.
 The Colombo All-Share index .CSE fell 3.52 points to
2,209.05, its 14th fall in 15 sessions. The bourse hit 2,199.97
on August 31, 2006.
 The bourse has fallen 8 percent so far this month, and is
down around 13 percent so far this year.
 "The market is down as some of the big cap companies are
down. There is nothing to move the market up," said Harsha
Fernando, chief executive of SC securities in Colombo.
 "It's the economic situation and the global situation which
hurts investor sentiment."
 Top private lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon COMB.CM
closed 2.26 percent weaker at 108 rupees a share, calculated on
a weighted average.
 Diversified holding company Carson Cumberbatch CARS.CM,
which dominates palm oil trading in Sri Lanka, dropped 1.68
percent to 220 rupees.
 Conglomerate John Keells Holdings JKH.CM closed 0.29
percent weaker at 86.25 rupees, despite offering on Thursday to
buy back one share for every 25 shares held at 90 rupees for
2.2 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($20.40 million).
 Top mobile phone operator Dialog Telekom DIAL.CM closed
flat at 9.00 rupees while leading fixed line operator Sri Lanka
Telecom SLTL.CM also closed flat at 42 rupees a share.
 Market turnover was 175.22 million rupees, well below last
year's daily average of 400 million rupees.
 Traders said high interest rates and high inflation had
slammed second-quarter corporate earnings. But the 7 percent
growth seen in the second quarter and easing inflation may
improve sentiment if the trend stays, analysts say.
 The rupee LKR= closed flat at 107.89/90 per dollar, from
Thursday's close.
 The interbank lending rate or call money rate CLIBOR rose
to 19.185 percent, up from Thursday's 19.118 percent.
 (Editing by Bryson Hull)


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