Sri Lankan stocks fall
Sri Lankan stocks fell for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, hitting a near three-week low, as investors cautiously bought risky assets amid political uncertainty ahead of the January 8 presidential poll. The main stock index ended 0.33 percent lower at 7,199.73, its lowest close since November 28. The fall erased 10 billion rupees of market capitalisation from the 3.06 trillion rupee ($23.34 billion)-worth bourse.
Copyright Reuters, 2014
Turnover improved, hitting its highest since December 8, due to increased foreign and institutional investor trading. The day's turnover stood at 1.31 billion rupees ($9.99 million), according to stock exchange data, slightly less than this year's daily average of 1.42 billion rupees. The bourse saw a net foreign outflow of 267.5 million rupees this session, but net inflow so far this year stood at 21.7 billion rupees, exchange data showed.
"The index will move sideways until the next month's election. There could be a pre-poll rally if investors see a clear winner in the election," said Danushka Samarasignhe, chief operating officer at Softlogic Stockbrokers. Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings fell 1.52 percent to 246.20 rupees, while top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon edged down 0.3 percent to 169.50 rupees. Trading is expected to be sluggish due to political uncertainty ahead of the presidential polls next month, with the index seen falling through December-end.