• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Sri Lanka shares had their worst weekly fall ever on Friday, having extended losses to a fifth straight session, with the Colombo Stock Exchange halting trade for a third consecutive day as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

The CSE All-Share index settled 4.86% lower at 8,471.43 points on Friday. For the week, the index tumbled 18.97%.

In the previous session, it clocked its worst quarterly performance since the quarter-ending December 2008, tumbling 27.2%.

The country’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen 70% in the past two years to about $2.31 billion, with the nation struggling to pay for essential imports, including food and fuel.

The island-nation of 22 million people is grappling with rolling power cuts of up to 13 hours a day as the government is unable to make payments for fuel imports due to lack of foreign exchange.

Power cuts from earlier this week also forced Sri Lanka’s stock market to restrict trading to two hours from the usual four-and-a-half hours.

 Heavyweights Lanka Orix Leasing Company Plc and Expolanka Holdings Plc were the top drags on the index, losing 20% and 12.9%, respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading shares worth 556.5 million rupees ($1.89 million), while domestic investors were net buyers, purchasing 839.7 million rupees worth of shares, exchange data showed.

The equity market turnover was 1.25 billion rupees compared with 2.32 billion rupees in the previous session.

Trading volume fell to 25.5 million shares from 110.8 million shares in the previous session.

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