COLOMBO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - ** Sri Lanka’s rupee closed flat on Thursday, with foreign outflows from government securities showing a declining trend, while equities ended a tad firmer.
** The rupee ended flat at 180.25/45 per dollar ahead of a long weekend. The currency gained 0.33% this week and is up 1.3% this year.
** Markets are closed for a Buddhist religious holiday on Friday. ** Foreign investors sold government securities worth 500 million rupees in the week ended Sept. 4, data showed, extending the year to date net foreign outflow to 53.7 billion rupees through Sept. 4, central bank data showed. ** The weekly outflow last week, however, was far less than the average weekly outflow of 12.85 billion rupees in the previous two weeks. ** Meanwhile, the benchmark stock index ended 0.08% higher at 5,825.54. The bourse is up 0.47% for the week. ** Investors have been in a wait-and-watch mode since the main opposition party named a hardline former defence chief as its presidential candidate. ** So far this year, the stock index has dropped about 3.8%. ** Equity market turnover was 581.7 million rupees ($3.23 million), compared with this year’s daily average of about 647.8 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average was 834 million. ** Foreign investors sold a net 238.1 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 2.11 billion rupees worth of equities, according to index data. ** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 180.2500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; editing by Uttaresh.V)