December 22, 2016 / 11:28 AM / 3 years ago

Sri Lankan shares fall for 8th straight session in thin trade

COLOMBO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth straight session on Thursday, closing at their lowest in more than eight months, in typical holiday-thinned trade as investors stayed away ahead of the Christmas weekend.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.28 percent weaker at 6,209.65, its lowest close since April 6. The bourse has fallen 2 percent in the last eight straight sessions through Thursday.

Turnover slumped to a near four-week low of 114.5 million rupees (about $764,608), less than a sixth of this year’s daily average of 740.6 million rupees.

“A lot of people are out of office because of holiday season. Foreign trading is also very slow because of the year-end holidays in other markets as well. We see the same sentiment prevailing until the new year,” said Hussain Gany, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors bought a net 25.3 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 625.7 million rupees into equities.

Banking and telecommunications sectors saw market activity, with trading in top mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata accounting for 24 percent of the day’s turnover.

Shares in large cap Ceylon Tobacco Company lost 2.4 percent in lacklustre trade, while top private lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell 1.2 percent to drag down the overall index.

$1 = 149.7500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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