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Sri Lankan shares fall; foreign selling continues


JULY 19, 2018

COLOMBO, July 18 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares slipped on Wednesday from their highest close in nearly three weeks recorded in the previous session, as investors sold diversified and telecommunication shares.

Foreign investors sold net equities worth 34.1 million rupees on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 2.7 billion rupees.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.31 percent weaker at 6,160.69.

“There is some profit-taking while foreign selling is still continuing,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“We see some local buying slowly coming in to the market which is a good sign.”

Turnover stood at 543.8 million rupees ($3.40 million), less than this year’s daily average of 892.3 million rupees.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate by the central bank has also hurt sentiment, analysts said.

Economic growth in 2018 is likely to be between 4 percent and 4.5 percent, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5 percent, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said early this month.

Shares in Dialog Axiata Plc fell 1.4 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 1.1 percent weaker and Melstacrop Ltd lost 2.2 percent. ($1 = 159.8000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)