Shares down; turnover slumps to one-month low

Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Sri Lanka’s stock market fell on Wednesday in thin trading volume and turnover to a more than two-week low on a liquidity shortage ahead of the holiday season.

The main share index .CSE fell 11.84 points or 0.19 per cent to 6,373.76, to its lowest close since 29 November.

Asia’s best performer in 2010 has risen 88.3 per cent, ahead of second-ranked Indonesia’s .JKSE 44.4 per cent. It has fallen 11.6 per cent since hitting a record high on 4 October, mainly on a liquidity shortage, and has slowed down with year-end settlements and the impending holidays.

The day’s turnover was at Rs. 667 million ($ 6 million), the lowest since 12 November, and just over the 2009 daily average of Rs. 593.6 million. Foreign investors have sold a net Rs. 25.4 billion in shares this year and on Wednesday they sold a net Rs. 168 million.

The bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 19, the highest in Asia and global emerging markets, compared with all-Asia’s 13.3 and global emerging markets’ 12.4, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed.

The CSE’s 14-day relative strength index is at 40.6, towards the lower neutral limit of 30. Volume hit 24.7 million shares on Wednesday, almost a third of its 90-day average of 67.2 million, and less than an average volume of 43.9 million and 53 million in the past five and 30 days respectively.

Sri Lanka’s rupee currency narrowly dipped to 110.90/94 from Tuesday’s two-year high of 110.90/92 on importer dollar demand, currency dealers said. The rupee has risen three per cent in 2010.