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Bourse dips

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 13 January 2018 00:21

Reuters: Shares fell for a fourth straight session on Friday to hit a more than one-week closing low on profit-booking in blue chip stocks.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.35% weaker at 6,473.62, its lowest close since 04 January.

Turnover stood at Rs. 968.3 million ($6.29 million) on Friday, more than last year’s daily average of Rs. 915.3 million.

Foreign investors net-bought shares worth Rs. 77.4 million on Friday, extending the net foreign inflow in this year to Rs. 2.33 billion.

They had net-bought Rs. 18.5 billion worth equities in 2017 and Rs. 633.5 million in 2016.

“The market is consolidating with some profit-taking in blue chip shares. Continued foreign buying is a positive sign,” Softlogic Stockbrokers Deputy CEO Hussain Gani said.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 2.7% down, while biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC dropped 0.5% and Hatton National Bank PLC ended 0.8% weaker.

“Investors will wait and see how the local elections will be.”

Sri Lanka will hold a long-delayed local government election on 10 February.

The bourse hit a near two-month high on Monday as declining interest rates and expectations of higher economic growth boosted investor appetite for risky assets.

Treasury bill rates fell between March and December last year, mainly driven by foreign buying in treasury bonds, resulting in a decline in interest rates.

Economic growth in 2018 is forecast at 5-5.5%, against an anticipated four-year low of less than 4% last year, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said last week.

Stock, bond, and foreign exchange markets are closed on Monday for a holiday and normal trading will resume on Tuesday.

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