June 22, 2018 / 11:10 AM / in a month

Sri Lankan stocks end steady, marking fifth straight losing week

COLOMBO, June 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares ended steady on Friday, staying close to the 14-month low hit this week and marking their fifth straight week of losses.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.01 percent weaker at 6,228.15, hovering near its lowest close since April 2017 hit on Wednesday. The bourse fell 1.63 percent this week.

“Though the market is attractive investors are still awaiting direction. We will see sideways movement for the next couple of days as the sell-off has stopped,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, assistant manager - research, First Capital Holdings Plc.

Turnover was 277.4 million rupees ($1.8 million), well below this year’s daily average of 942 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth 72.7 million rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to 934.3 million rupees of shares so far this year.

Shares of Dialog Axiata Plc ended 0.2 percent weaker, while Melstacorp Ltd fell 0.9 percent.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday said the country’s economy is likely to grow around 4.5 percent this year, below the central bank estimate of 5 percent in a sign political uncertainty is curbing a more robust recovery after a weak 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said Sri Lanka’s economy remains vulnerable to adverse shocks because of sizable public debt and large refinancing needs. ($1 = 158.7000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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