COLOMBO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - ** Sri Lanka’s rupee closed weaker for the sixth straight session on Monday, while equities closed lower ahead of a key decision by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ruling party on its candidate for the Nov. 16 election. ** The market has been waiting for Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP) candidate and its policies, brokers and traders said. The opposition party had named a hard-line former defence chief as its presidential candidate.
** The rupee closed 0.1% weaker at 181.30/70 to the dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 181.10/20. The currency fell 0.47% last week, but is up 0.7% for the 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 numbers on a daily basis, but weekly data in the past four weeks has shown an outflow.
** Foreign investors sold government securities worth 545.9 million rupees in the week ended Sept. 18 for a fifth straight week, data showed, extending the net foreign outflow so far this year to 54.9 billion rupees through Sept. 11, central bank data showed. ** The benchmark stock index ended down 0.3% at 5,776.48. The bourse fell 0.54% last week. ** So far this year, the stock index has dropped 4.72%. ** Equity market turnover was 485.6 million rupees ($2.68 million), less than this year’s daily average of about 670 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average was 834 million. ** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 181.3000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)