Bourse edges down in thin trade; Budget awaited

Wednesday, 8 November 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares inched lower on Tuesday, with trading volume slumping to a more than six-week low, as investors awaited the national budget presentation scheduled later this week.

The Colombo stock index closed 0.1% weaker at 6,595.89, its lowest since 24 October.

The turnover was Rs. 260.2 million ($ 1.7 million), a quarter of this year’s average daily turnover of Rs. 937.8 million.

“Investors are waiting for the budget, and quarterly earning have also failed to inspire investors,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank on Tuesday revised down its economic growth forecast to between 4% and 4.5% for this year after holding its key interest rates steady as it focuses on supporting a faltering economy hit by extreme weather.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Thursday.

Shares in top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell 1%, while No. 1 mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata , which posted a 29.4% gain in its September-quarter earnings, closed 0.8% weaker.

Foreign investors sold shares net worth Rs. 82 million in the session, but they have bought Rs. 20.3 billion worth of equities so far this year.