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Sri Lankan shares fall for 9th session; further weakening seen

COLOMBO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell for a ninth straight session on Thursday to their lowest close in nearly twenty-two months as rising domestic interest rates and global economic worries dented investor sentiment.

The main stock index edged down 0.19 percent at 6,208.89, its lowest close since April 29, 2014. It has fallen 2.87 percent in the last eight sessions to Wednesday.

"The market is waiting for direction. But that direction has not come yet. Investors are waiting for direction on both economical and political side," said Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

"We expect the market to weaken further until we see some direction."

The key index has fallen around 10 percent this year through Thursday, amid a rise in market interest rates.

Yields on 91-day t-bills rose 13 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday to a more-than-two-year high, signalling a further rise in market interest rates.

Turnover was 534 million rupees ($3.7 million), less than this year’s daily average of 706 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net sellers of 81.6 million rupees worth of shares on Thursday, extending the net foreign outflow to 283.3 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Among the decliners, Bukit Darah Plc fell 2.2 percent while Nestle Lanka Plc lost 1.5 percent.






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