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CSE edges down

Reuters: Shares ended marginally lower yesterday, pulling away from their highest close in more than two weeks, while foreign buying in market heavyweight John Keells Holdings boosted turnover.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.23% to 6,141.55 points from its highest close since 25 July, hit in the previous session. The index has declined about 3.6% so far this year.

Turnover was Rs. 432 million ($ 2.7 million) yesterday, less than half of this year’s daily average of Rs. 844.4 million.

“There was foreign buying in Keells. But, there was no market moving news and global concerns also had an impact on sentiment,” said Acuity Stockbrokers CEO Prashan Fernando.

A plummeting Turkish lira sent ripples through global equities and emerging markets yesterday, as rising fears of a wider fallout sent investors scurrying for the safety of assets such as the yen and US government bonds.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs. 101.5 million after having sold a net Rs. 2.78 billion worth of equities so far this year.

Shares in Sri Lanka Telecom fell 2.5%, while Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC slid 2.2%. However, shares of John Keells, which accounted for nearly a third of the day’s turnover, rose 0.4%.

The Central Bank left its key policy rates unchanged as expected yesterday, citing its goals of stabilising inflation and fostering sustainable economic growth.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the economy was unlikely to grow more than 4% in 2018, falling short of an earlier estimate of 5%.

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