October 25, 2018 / 12:38 PM / 10 months ago

Sri Lankan rupee closes near record low; stocks steady

COLOMBO, Oct 25 (Reuters) - ** The Sri Lankan rupee closed on Thursday near a record low hit earlier this week as banks and importers purchased the dollar, while stocks closed flat with higher turnover.

** The rupee ended at 172.80/90 per dollar on Thursday, compared with its previous close of 172.60/70.

** The rupee dropped to an all-time low of 173.00 per dollar on Tuesday, surpassing its previous low of 172.50 hit on Monday.

** The central bank surprised financial markets on Oct. 2 by leaving its key policy rates unchanged despite heavy pressure on the rupee and foreign outflows from government securities.

** The rupee has weakened 2.1 percent so far this month after a 4.7 percent drop in September against the dollar. It dropped 12.45 percent so far this year.

** The Colombo stock index ended 0.03 percent weaker at 5,768.54. It shed 3.6 percent last month, and lost 9.4 percent so far this year.

** For a report on global markets, click here and for a report on major currencies, click

** Data from the central bank showed foreign investors sold government securities worth a net 5.3 billion rupees ($30.7 million) in the week ended Oct. 17. Sri Lanka has seen a net outflow of 85.9 billion rupees in securities so far this year.

** Stock market turnover was 1.26 billion rupees ($7.30 million) on Thursday, more than this year’s daily average of 764.6 million rupees.

** Foreign investors were net sellers of shares worth 277.5 million rupees on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 9.4 billion rupees worth of equities.

$1 = 172.5000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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