July 26, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 4 months ago

Sri Lankan shares fall for fourth straight session

COLOMBO, July 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares extended their losses to a fourth straight session on Thursday as foreign investors sold blue-chip stocks such as John Keells Holdings Plc and Hemas Holdings Plc.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.14 percent weaker at 6,153.99, its lowest close since July 16.

The index dropped 0.47 percent this week, its first weekly fall in three, bringing its year-to-date losses to 3.4 percent.

Turnover stood at 430.8 million rupees ($2.7 million), half of this year’s daily average of 864.5 million rupees.

“The market is slowly coming down on blue-chip selling and is back to its support level of 6,100 again,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, assistant manager - research, First Capital Holdings Plc.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth 169.6 million rupees on Thursday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to 2.5 billion rupees.

A downward revision in economic growth estimate earlier this month by the central bank has hurt sentiment, analysts have said.

Economic growth in 2018 is likely to be between 4 percent and 4.5 percent, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5 percent, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said earlier this month.

Shares of conglomerate John Keels Holdings Plc fell 1.9 percent, while Hemas Holding Plc ended 3.1 percent lower. Biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon closed 1.5 percent down and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc lost 2.9 percent.

The stocks, bond and foreign exchange markets are closed on Friday for a public holiday and will resume trading on Monday. ($1 = 159.5000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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