September 27, 2018 / 12:51 PM / 3 months ago

Sri Lanka rupee hits record low; shares fall amid foreign outflows

COLOMBO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - ** The Sri Lankan rupee hit a record low on Thursday as foreign investors exited government securities after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rate for a third time this year, while shares fell in thin trade amid foreign outflows.

** The rupee hit a new low of 169.40 per dollar on importer demand for the greenback and as foreign banks bought the U.S. currency to facilitate foreign selling in government securities, but intervention by the central bank limited the fall, market sources said.

** The rupee ended at 169.35/55 per dollar, compared with the previous close of 169.00/20. The previous record low was 169.05 per dollar hit on Wednesday.

** The rupee has weakened 4.8 percent so far this month against the dollar after a 1.2 percent drop in the previous month, and has declined 10.2 percent so far this year.

** The Colombo stock index fell 0.31 percent to 5,869.31. The index hit its lowest close since Dec. 18, 2013 on Tuesday.

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** Data from the central bank showed foreign investors sold government securities worth a net 8.8 billion rupees ($52.19 million) in the week ended Sept. 19, the highest since the week to Dec. 6. Sri Lanka has suffered a net outflow of 63.7 billion rupees in securities so far this year.

** Stock market turnover was 419.8 million rupees on Thursday, around half of this year’s daily average of 788.7 million rupees. ** Foreign investors sold a net 110.5 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 5.77 billion rupees worth of equities. ($1 = 169.1000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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