Bourse closes lower on profit-taking

Saturday, 18 October 2014 01:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Stocks fell for the second straight session on Friday, led by profit-taking in select shares such as Sri Lanka Telecom Plc and John Keells Holdings Plc, although foreign investors bought into risky assets. Sri Lanka’s main stock index fell 0.31%, or 22.60 points, to 7,234.47. Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 15.9 million ($ 121,792) worth of shares on Friday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to Rs. 10.13 billion, exchange data showed. “Profit-taking was seen along with low foreign fund activity. Local investors are waiting for cues amid volatility in the regional markets,” said a stock broker asking not to be named. “The volatility will be there next week too on the back of the global markets’ performance.” Leading fixed line telephone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc led the fall with a 2.75% loss, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc lost 0.8%. Asian stocks were on the defensive on Friday, unable to hold early gains as solid US data gave only a temporary boost and failed to dispel underlying worries about slowing world economic growth. Stockbrokers said trading in local shares may be volatile due to government moves on an early presidential poll, and a possible bottoming out of interest rates. President Mahinda Rajapaksa could hold a snap election in January, nearly two years before he has to, a close ally said, amid signs his popularity is fading among people who criticise his party for abusing power. The Central Bank held its key policy rates steady before the market opened Friday, a day after Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said a reversal of the falling trend in t-bill yields was a signal of where the authorities want rates to head. Local investors have been buying stocks as they have no other option in a low interest rate regime. The day’s turnover was Rs. 1.02 billion, less than this year’s daily average of over Rs. 1.36 billion.