Shares edge down on profit taking; rupee ends higher

Thursday, 21 November 2019 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares ended marginally lower on Wednesday from their highest level in more than a year hit in the previous session, as investors booked profits after a post-election rally, while the rupee rose to a nearly three-month peak.

The benchmark stock index, which rose 0.53% in the early trade, ended 0.07% weaker at 6,138.59, edging down from its highest close since 9 August 2018 hit on Tuesday. The bourse rose 1.53% last week, and it is up 1.42% for the year.

“We believe the investor sentiment is positive and it continues to be positive with the political stability on top of the low interest rate regime. Today, the market came off as investors booked profits while the local retail investors turned towards mid cap shares,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at broker First Capital Holdings.   The rupee ended 0.1% firmer at 179.20/40 per dollar, its highest since 21 August. It closed at 179.25/50 on Tuesday and is up 1.89% so far this year. Foreign investors were net sellers of riskier assets for the tenth straight session on Wednesday. They sold a net Rs. 624.3 million ($3.48 million) worth of shares on Wednesday, extending the net foreign outflow from the equities market to Rs. 8.9 billion for the year, according to index data. Equity market turnover was Rs. 2.05 billion, well above this year’s daily average of about Rs. 705.9 million. Last year’s daily average was Rs. 834 million. Foreign investors bought government securities on a net basis for the fourth time in six weeks, buying a net Rs. 2.2 billion worth of government securities in the week ended 13 November.

Total foreign outflows from government securities through 13 November stood at Rs. 48 billion, Central Bank data said.