Sri Lanka currency (Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s rupee closed weaker for the fifth straight session on Friday (21) on continued demand for dollars from banks, while equities ended the week on a negative note.

The rupee was weaker by 0.14 per cent at 181.10/20 to the dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 180.85/181.05. The currency is down 0.47 per cent for the week, but is up 0.82 per cent 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 September 11 for a fourth straight week, data showed, extending the net foreign outflow so far this year to 54.3 billion rupees through September 11, central bank data showed.

The benchmark stock index ended down 0.30 per cent to 5,793.89. The bourse fell 0.54 per cent for the week.

Investors have been in a wait-and-watch mode since the main opposition party named a hard-line former defence chief as its presidential candidate.

So far this year, the stock index has dropped about 4.72 per cent.

Equity market turnover was 542.97 million Sri Lankan rupees ($3.00 million), less than this year’s daily average of about 669.8 million rupees so far. Last year’s daily average was 834 million.

Foreign investors bought a net 129.1 million rupees worth of shares. But foreign investors were net sellers of 2.41 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, according to index data.

Reuters