December 15, 2017 / 11:25 AM / a month ago

Sri Lankan stocks slip to 8-month closing low

COLOMBO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares slipped to their lowest close in eight months on Friday as investors offloaded telecom and plantation stocks.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.08 percent weaker at 6,352.10, its lowest close since April 17. It dropped 0.4 percent this week, in its sixth consecutive weekly decline.

“The downtrend is continuing with the selling in blue chips,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings, adding that was a bit of a worrying sign for the market.

Plantation stocks came under pressure after the Russian agricultural safety watchdog said on Thursday that the country will place temporary restrictions on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from Dec. 18.

“The Russian restrictions on tea could pose a threat to long-term tea prices and it could impact the earnings of plantation companies,” said Mathew.

Turnover was 345.4 million rupees ($2.25 million), the lowest since Dec.9, and well below this year’s daily average of 938.9 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 180.1 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 18.3 billion rupees worth of shares.

Shares of Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 1.5 percent, Hemas Holdings Plc ended 0.9 percent weaker and Asian Hotels and Properties Plc ended down 2 percent. ($1 = 153.2000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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