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Bourse ends marginally lower ahead of polls


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Reuters: Sri Lankan shares ended lower for a second straight session on Wednesday as investors sold blue-chip stocks such as John Keells Holdings PLC ahead of the local government polls over the weekend.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.08% weaker at 6,507.25, slipping further from its highest close since the 9th January hit on Friday.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings slipped 0.6%, while Colombo Cold Stores PLC edged down 1.9% and Sri Lanka Telecom PLC lost 1.7%.

“There is no real direction as investors are on a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the elections,” said First Capital Holdings Head of Research Dimantha Mathew. “Turnover is boosted by some foreign buying.”

Sri Lanka will hold the long-delayed local government election on 10 February amid worries about the future of the country’s coalition government.

The market turnover was Rs. 968.3 million ($6.27 million), more than last year’s daily average of Rs. 915.3 million.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 124.4 million worth of shares on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs. 4.5 billion worth of equities.


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