July 24, 2018 / 11:24 AM / a month ago

Sri Lankan shares fall for second straight session

COLOMBO, July 24 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares extended fall for a second straight session on Tuesday, easing further from a three-week closing high recorded late last week, but foreign buying helped limit losses.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.02 percent weaker at 6,183.64. The index, which is down nearly 3 percent in the year so far, had on Friday recorded its highest close since June 29.

Turnover stood at 273.8 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.72 million), less than a third of this year’s daily average of 873.1 million rupees.

“Though there is selling pressure in the market, the decline is not huge,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings.

“Foreigners are net buyers and that creates some positive sentiment.”

Foreign investors bought equities worth net 90.3 million rupees on Tuesday, but they have been net sellers of stocks worth 2.4 billion rupees so far in the year.

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 in conglomerate John Keels Holdings Plc ended 0.7 percent down and Hemas Holding Plc ended 1.1 percent lower while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc shed 1.6 percent. ($1 = 159.4000 Sri Lankan rupees)

Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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