Shares end lower, retreat from near 3-mth high

Saturday, 28 October 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Shares fell in thin trade on Friday, as the market took a breather after hitting a near three-month high in the previous session, with foreign investors net selling equities ahead of the national budget.

The Colombo Stock Index closed 0.3 percent lower at 6,612.91, slipping from its highest close since 31 July hit on Thursday.

Large cap Ceylon Cold Stores fell 4.8 percent, while the biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC eased 1.2 percent.

“The market took a healthy break, which is important for consolidation. There was more local participation,” Softlogic Stockbrokers Deputy CEO Hussain Gani said.

“We still are positive on the stock market because the interest rates are gradually coming down.”

Foreign investors net-sold shares worth Rs. 61.2 million ($398,697) on Friday, but they have net-bought 19.67 billion worth equities so far this year.

Analysts said the market was looking for direction from corporate results for the September quarter and the 2018 budget, which Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present on 9 November.

Turnover stood at Rs. 352 million ($2.29 million), less than half this year’s daily average of Rs. 936.3 million.