January 18, 2018 / 12:20 PM / a year ago

Sri Lankan shares extend fall on foreign selling

COLOMBO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a seventh straight session on Thursday and closed at their lowest in nearly three weeks, as foreign investors turned net sellers for the first time in 14 sessions while local players stayed on the sidelines.

Foreign investors, who have been net buyers of 2.7 billion rupees worth shares so far this year, sold equities worth net 279.5 million rupees ($1.82 million) on Thursday, especially banks and blue chips.

They net bought 18.5 billion rupees worth equities in 2017 and 633.5 million rupees in 2016.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.45 percent weaker at 6,410.11, its lowest close since Dec. 29. It has shed 2 percent in the past seven sessions.

“Market came down on some foreign selling. But turnover was pushed up by foreign trade,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst with First Capital Holdings PLC.

Turnover stood at 1.3 billion rupees, higher than last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees.

Shares in Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc dropped 2.8 percent, Hemas Holdings Plc declined 4.1 percent, and Ceylon Cold Stores Plc fell 2.1 percent. ($1 = 153.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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