June 20, 2018 / 11:58 AM / 10 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks drop for 10th session

COLOMBO, June 20 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a 10th consecutive session on Wednesday to their lowest close in more than 14 months, led by losses in lenders such as Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.76 percent weaker at 6,217.91, its lowest close since April 5, 2017.

“There were a few margin calls as the prices are coming down,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Turnover stood at 341.5 million rupees ($2.1 million), well below this year’s daily average of 952.8 million rupees.

Foreign investors sold equities net worth 31.4 million rupees, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflows to 796.2 million rupees of shares so far this year.

Shares of Hatton National Bank Plc fell 2.1 percent, while Sampath Bank Plc ended 2.1 percent lower and National Development Bank Plc closed 6.2 percent down. The biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon ended 1.1 percent weaker.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Tuesday said the country’s economy is likely to grow around 4.5 percent this year, below the central bank estimate of 5 percent in a sign political uncertainty is curbing a more robust recovery after a weak 2017.

$1 = 159.9000 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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