October 18, 2018 / 12:43 PM / a month ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends weaker near record low; stocks steady

COLOMBO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - ** The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Thursday, near its record low, as banks and importers bought the U.S. dollar, while stocks ended largely unchanged near a five-year closing low hit earlier in the week.

** The Central Bank on Wednesday said it has secured a 1 billion dollar eight-year loan from China Development Bank.

** The rupee ended at 171.30/45 per dollar, compared with its previous close of 171.00/15. ** The rupee had fallen to an all-time low of 171.60 per dollar on Oct. 10 due to foreign selling in government securities and importer demand for greenback. ** 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 1.2 percent so far this month after a 4.7 percent drop in September against the dollar. It has declined 11.5 percent so far this year.

** The Colombo stock index edged up 0.03 percent to 5,778.37 points, hovering near its lowest close since Dec. 3, 2013 hit on Monday. It fell 3.6 percent last month and is down 9.3 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 6.3 billion rupees ($37.04 million) in the week ended October 10. Sri Lanka has seen a net outflow of 80.6 billion rupees in securities so far this year.

** Stock market turnover was 151.8 million rupees ($887,200) on Thursday, one fifth of this year’s daily average of 770.8 million rupees and the lowest since Sept. 6.

** Foreign investors were net sellers of 46.5 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 9 billion rupees worth of equities.

$1 = 171.1000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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