November 26, 2019 / 12:34 PM / 12 days ago

RPT-Sri Lankan shares edge up, rupee fall; new leader's policy direction awaited

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COLOMBO, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares recovered on Tuesday from a more than one-week closing low in the previous session, as investors picked up beverage and manufacturing shares.

** The benchmark stock index ended up 0.18% at 6,094.85, edging higher from its lowest close since Nov. 15 hit on Monday. The bourse gained 1.6% last week, and is up 0.70% for the year. ** Analysts said investors are awaiting some policy directions from the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

** Rajapaksa last week appointed his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current prime minister, as the new finance minister. ** Rajapaksa has also appointed a 15-member cabinet and is expected to name junior ministers on Tuesday. That will follow the appointments of officials to head state-owned firms, government officials say.

** The rupee ended 0.36% weaker at 181.50/90 per dollar, slipping from Monday’s close of 180.85/181.05, Refinitiv data showed. It is up 0.6% so far this year. ** Foreign investors were net sellers for 21 sessions in 23. ** They sold a net 101.5 million rupees ($563,889) worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the net selling so far this year to 9.27 billion rupees worth of equities, according to index data. ** Equity market turnover was 633.3 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of about 709 million rupees. Last year’s daily average was 834 million rupees. ** Meanwhile, foreign investors were net buyers of government securities on a net basis for the fifth straight week, purchasing a net 0.21 million rupees worth of government securities in the week ended Nov. 20. ** Total foreign outflows from government securities through Nov. 20 stood at 48 billion rupees, central bank data said.

** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 180.0000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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