COLOMBO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - ** Sri Lanka’s rupee closed weaker for the fifth straight session on Friday on continued demand for dollars from banks, while equities ended the week on a negative note.
** The rupee was weaker by 0.14% at 181.10/20 to the dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 180.85/181.05. The currency is down 0.47% for the week, but is up 0.82% this year. ** Analysts said foreign outflows from government securities have shown a declining trend and the market is now waiting for foreign investors to reverse the selling trend.
** The central bank does not release foreign flow data on a daily basis, but weekly data in the past four weeks has shown an outflow.
** Foreign investors sold government securities worth 598.9 million rupees in the week ended Sept. 11 for a fourth straight week, data showed, extending the net foreign outflow so far this year to 54.3 billion rupees through Sept. 11, central bank data showed. ** The benchmark stock index ended down 0.30% to 5,793.89. The bourse fell 0.54% for the week. ** Investors have been in a wait-and-watch mode since the main opposition party named a hard-line former defence chief as its presidential candidate. ** So far this year, the stock index has dropped about 4.72%. ** Equity market turnover was 542.97 million Sri Lankan rupees ($3.00 million), less than this year’s daily average of about 669.8 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average was 834 million. ** Foreign investors bought a net 129.1 million rupees worth of shares. But foreign investors were net sellers of 2.41 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, according to index data. ** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 181.1000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; editing by Uttaresh.V)