CSE ends weaker as investors sell select blue chips

Friday, 20 April 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The share index slipped on Thursday from a five-week closing high hit the previous day, snapping a six-session winning streak, as investors offloaded select blue-chip stocks in low volumes.

Many market participants stayed away due to extended holidays after the Sinhala-Tamil New Year festival last weekend, brokers said.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.36% weaker at 6,528.57, slipping from its highest close since 13 March hit on Wednesday. The index gained 0.44% last week.

“The market came down on blue-chip selling in low volumes,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, Assistant Manager – Research, First Capital Holdings PLC.

“Just 159 shares of Ceylon Tobacco Co (CTC) were traded. The small volume of selling in CTC dragged the market down,” he added.

Turnover stood at Rs. 269.8 million ($1.73 million), less than a quarter of this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.11 billion.

Shares of Ceylon Tobacco ended 2.5% weaker, while Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc closed 2.2% down and Melstacorp Ltd. closed 1% lower.

The market has been waiting for some political stability after President Maithripala Sirisena suspended Parliament until 8 May, brokers said.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs. 57.1 million on Thursday, but they have net sold Rs. 1.27 billion worth of equities so far this year. The Central Bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points early this month, as policymakers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.