Shares extend fall to 2-week closing low

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Shares fell for a fifth straight session on Tuesday and closed at their lowest in two weeks, as local retail investors booked profits in blue chips ahead of a long-delayed local election next month.

The Colombo Stock Index ended 0.4% weaker at 6,447.61, its lowest close since 2 January. It has shed 1.4% in the past five sessions. “The market is coming down on profit-taking by local retailers in blue chips before the next rally after the election,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Holdings. “The good sign is that foreign buying continues, it looks like foreign investors are returning back to the Sri Lankan market.” Foreign investors bought shares worth net Rs. 539.3 million ($ 3.51 million) on Tuesday, extending the net foreign inflow so far this year to Rs. 2.87 billion.

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

Turnover stood at Rs. 884.6 million on Tuesday, less than last year’s daily average of Rs. 915.3 million. Shares in Hatton National Bank Plc fell 1.2%, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc dropped 1.1% and Nestle Lanka Plc slipped 1.1%.

Sri Lanka’s stock, bond, and foreign exchange markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.