Sri Lankan shares fall for seventh straight session

COLOMBO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended lower for the seventh straight session on Tuesday as rising domestic interest rates and global economic worries dampened investor sentiment.

Sri Lanka’s main stock index ended down 0.19 percent at 6,254.16, its lowest close since May. 7, 2014, after erasing early gains. It has fallen 2.35 percent in the last seven sessions.

"Market is down because there is not much of an economic direction and also due to the global market volatility," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

"But if global markets settle with oil prices settling, it might be good news for emerging markets also."

Brent crude, which has been on a roller-coaster ride this year, hit a 12-day high after oil producers Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela agreed to freeze output to tackle a global oil glut.

The key index has fallen 9.3 percent this year through Monday, amid a rise in market interest rates.

Yields on t-bills rose between 8 and 17 basis points at a weekly auction on Wednesday, with the 182-day and the 364-day t-bill yields climbing to more-than-two-year highs, signalling a further rise in market interest rates.

Turnover was 358.6 million rupees, less than half of this year’s daily average of 721 million rupees.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 52.05 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday. But they have been net sellers of 293.7 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Shares of Dialog Axiata Plc fell 1.00 percent while Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings Plc eased 2.7 percent and Hayleys Plc lost 2.3 percent.





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