June 5, 2017 / 12:21 PM / 5 months ago

Sri Lankan shares fall on profit-taking in banks

COLOMBO, June 5 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell in thin trade on Monday on profit-booking in banking stocks while investors assessed the impact of recent deadly floods on exchange rate and inflation.

Analysts said it is too early to evaluate the real impact of the floods and landslides caused by the worst torrential rains in 14 years, killing over 200 people and devastating crops.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.19 percent weaker at 6,676.32, its lowest close since May 31. The bourse fell 0.13 percent last week, its second straight weekly drop.

Turnover was 395.4 million rupees ($2.59 million), less than half of this year’s daily average of 893.8 million rupees.

Inflation could rise in the short term, especially due to crop damages and difficulties in distributing fresh food produce and staple food items, analysts said.

“It was a quiet market today. We expect the market to consolidate at these levels until we see some strong foreign buying coming into the market,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.

Foreign investors were net buyers of 101.8 million rupees worth of shares, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 19.65 billion rupees.

Shares of Nanda Investment Plc fell 16.46 percent, Lanka ORIX Leasing Co Plc declined 1.86 percent, Ceylon Cold Stores Plc dropped 1.48 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc shed 1.52 percent. ($1 = 152.6000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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