Shares at near-4-month low; policy statement awaited

cseSri Lankan stocks ended at its lowest in nearly four months on Tuesday while turnover slumped as investors awaited a key government policy statement later this week and also the budget for direction.

The main stock index ended down 0.41 percent at 7,000.41, its lowest close since July 13. The index has fallen for four straight session through Tuesday.

The day’s turnover was 391.2 million rupees ($2.77 million), the lowest since July. 14 and less than half this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to announce the country’s medium-term economic policy framework on Nov. 5, outlining the government’s economic priorities ahead of the 2016 budget scheduled for Nov. 20.

The index “was on an uptrend for the first hour of trading followed by continued, albeit volatile, downward momentum to bring down the index below 7,000 mark prior to losing 29 points to close at 7,000,” First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd said in a note to investors.

Analysts said investors are waiting for the budget and the prime minister’s statement for cues.

Shares in Asian Hotels and Properties Plc fell 3.94 percent while Carson Cumberbatch Plc fell 0.72 percent.

Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of 3.66 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year, bought a net 14.88 million rupees worth shares on Tuesday. (Reuters)


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