September 17, 2019 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

Sri Lankan rupee ends weaker; stocks snap two-day gaining streak

COLOMBO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - ** Sri Lankan rupee closed weaker on Tuesday on importer dollar demand, while foreign outflows from government securities also weighed on the currency. Equities snapped two consecutive session of gains to end lower. ** The rupee closed 0.1% weaker at 180.55/65 per dollar compared to Monday’s close of 180.45/55. However, the currency is up 1.1% this year. ** Analysts said foreign outflows from government securities have shown a declining trend and the market is now waiting for foreign investors to reverse the selling trend.

** The central bank does not release foreign flow data on a daily basis, but weekly data in the past four weeks has shown an outflow.

** Foreign investors sold government securities worth 598.9 million rupees in the week ended Sept. 11 for a fourth straight week, data showed, extending the year to date net foreign outflow to 54.3 billion rupees through Sept. 11, central bank data showed. ** Meanwhile, the benchmark stock index ended 0.29% down at 5,811.07. The bourse was up 0.47% for last week. ** Investors have been in a wait-and-watch mode since the main opposition party named a hardline former defence chief as its presidential candidate. ** So far this year, the stock index has dropped about 4%. ** Equity market turnover was 4.6 billion Sri Lankan rupees($25.48 million), its highest close since July.15 and well above this year’s daily average of about 671.6 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average was 834 million. ** Foreign investors sold a net 8.6 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 2.29 billion rupees worth of equities, according to index data. ** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 180.5500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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