June 18, 2018 / 12:23 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan stocks extend losses, hit 14-month low

COLOMBO, June 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for an eighth consecutive session on Monday to their lowest close in more than a year, as foreign investors sold shares, with block deals boosting the day’s turnover.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.33 percent weaker at 6,310.51, its lowest close since April 11, 2017. The index dropped 0.4 percent last week, marking its fourth straight weekly fall.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth 98.8 million rupees ($618,000), extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to 872.4 million rupees of shares.

Turnover stood at 1.3 billion rupees, more than this year’s daily average of 961.3 million rupees.

Shares of biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc fell 0.9 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc ended 0.5 percent lower and conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.6 percent weaker.

Most investors have adopted a wait-and-watch approach, hoping for some positive news on the economic front, analysts said.

Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, slowing from 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, the state-run Department of Census and Statistics said after the market closed.

A weaker rupee, political uncertainty and the recent fuel price hike has weighed on sentiment over the past few weeks, with local investors remaining on the sidelines as they gauge the impact of floods last month, brokers said.

$1 = 159.8000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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