October 18, 2016 / 12:52 PM / 2 years ago

Sri Lankan shares fall for 7th session to post 1-mth closing low

COLOMBO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a seventh straight session on Tuesday and posted their lowest close in a month as cautious investors awaited a flurry of corporate results and next month’s national budget, while fresh political concerns also weighed on sentiment, brokers said.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.15 percent weaker at 6,442.87, its lowest close since Sept. 20.

“Investor sentiment will be the same until the budget next month. The market is also concerned about political stability after the president’s speech last week,” said a stockbroker, asking not to be named.

The head of Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption body resigned on Monday, days after President Maithripala Sirisena implied her agency was favouring the rival party of his prime minister.

This is likely to delay one of the promises of Sirisena’s coalition government of eliminating corruption and implementing rule of law and might have an adverse impact on business confidence, analysts said.

Turnover stood at 389.6 million rupees ($2.65 million), compared with this year’s daily average of around 743 million rupees.

Foreign investors, who have sold a net 2.24 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year, bought a net 98.2 million rupees worth equities on Tuesday.

Blue chips John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.66 percent, while top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc dropped 1.63 percent.

Sri Lanka’s quarterly earnings season started last week but the bulk of locally listed firms will not report until late October or early November.

$1 = 146.7500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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