Bourse continues in sluggish mode

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Sri Lankan shares fell for a fourth straight session yesterday, to their lowest close in nearly six weeks. Quarterly earnings of most corporates that have dropped considerably and the scheduling of local government elections for January have created a negative impact on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), analysts noted.

Both indices went down, ie, the All Share Price Index declined by 53.65 points and S and P SL20 43.92 by points. The day's turnover stood at Rs. 670.96 million with two crossings. Those crossings were: HNB (Non Voting ) 416,000 shares crossed for Rs. 85.19 million at a per share value of Rs. 205 and HNB (Voting) 250,000 shares crossed for Rs. 65.75 million at a per share value of Rs. 263.

When it comes to the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the day's turnover were Melstacorp Rs. 95.87 million (1.62 million shares traded), HNB (Voting) Rs. 65.5 million (249,000 shares traded) and Hemas Holdings Rs. 37.77 million (290,000 shares traded).

The market was dominated by foreign investors who accounted for the bulk of the day’s buying.

"Retail investors are not clear about the budget. That is the main reason for the fall. Retail investors were not active at all, market analysts said.

It is said that the release of the government gazette notification on the new Inland Revenue Act will also weigh on the market in the next few days.

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