June 12, 2017 / 12:03 PM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares hit near 2-week closing low

COLOMBO, June 12 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares on Monday ended at their lowest in near two weeks due to profit-booking in banking shares, but foreign inflows helped curb losses.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.09 percent weaker at 6,663.15, its lowest close since May 30.

Last week, the bourse dropped 0.3 percent, posting its third consecutive weekly decline.

“Foreign trade dominated the day. The net foreign trade is low, there is very less local participation as there is no new money coming into the market,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

Turnover was 841.6 million rupees ($5.51 million), little less than this year’s daily average of 897.1 million rupees.

Analysts said investors are still waiting to see the impact of the recent floods and landslides, caused by the worst torrential rains in 14 years, killing over 200 people and devastating crops.

Inflation could rise in the short term, especially due to crop damage and difficulties in distributing fresh food produce and staple food items, analysts said.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 65.7 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 20.3 billion rupees.

Shares of Bukit Darah Plc ended 4.27 percent weaker, Ceylinco Insurance Plc closed down 2.24 percent, Commercial Leasing & Finance Plc dropped 6.45 percent, while the country’s biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 0.07 percent down.

$1 = 152.7000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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