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Asia, Forex

Sri Lanka shares jump over 1% on banks, beverages; rupee inches higher

COLOMBO, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares rose over 1% on Friday, posting their seventh straight weekly gain, as investors bought beverage and banking stocks.

** The rupee ended slightly stronger as exporter dollar sales surpassed importer greenback demand.

** The benchmark stock index ended 1.1% firmer at 5,943.11, its highest close since July 30. It gained 0.82% for the week.

** So far this year, the index is down about 1.8%.

** Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees ($6.79 million), more than this year’s daily average of about 641 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average came in at 834 million rupees.

** Foreign investors sold a net 66.4 million rupees worth of shares on Friday, but they have been net buyers of 419 million rupees worth of equities so far this year, according to index data.

** Shares of Ceylon Cold Stores Plc jumped 6.3%, Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 6.7%, conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended up 1.4%, Dialog Axiata Plc gained 1.9% and biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc closed 2.7% firmer.

** The rupee ended at 176.75/95 per dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 176.80/177.00.

** The rupee fell 0.73% in the seven sessions through Tuesday and 0.08% for the week, but is up nearly 3.3% so far this year.

** The central bank left key interest rates unchanged on July 11 as expected, after cutting them in May to support the economy as tourism and investment plummeted in the wake of deadly suicide bombings in April.

** Foreign investors sold a net 5.11 billion rupees worth of government securities in the week ended July 31, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to 27.31 billion rupees, central bank data showed. ** For a report on global markets, click ** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 176.7500 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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