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Sri Lanka stocks close 0.39-pct down as voting starts

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.39 percent lower on Wednesday in a shortened trading day as the country went for parliamentary elections and investors waited in the sidelines awaiting its outcome, brokers said.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party is calling for a two thirds majority.

Brokers said that the investors are now adopting a wait and see policy for a direction after the elections.

There was also speculation over a national government with one or more opposition parties which will enable more ministers to be appointed, analysts said.

Today’s market was sluggish with profit taking seen, brokers said.

Colombo’s main All Share Price Index declined 20.37 points to close at 5,146.44, provisional data showed.

The index reached an intra-day high of 5,182.21 minutes after market open at 1100hours and continued to fall throughout the day before coming to a close at 1230hours.

The S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 0.06 percent or 1.25 points down at 2,213.83.

The market turnover for the day amounted to 603.84 million rupees with 39 stocks making gains while 85 stocks fell.

There were no crossings done in today’s market trading.

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Retail activity was mainly on the selling side throughout the day, brokers said after yesterday’s very stagnating market movement owing to market players lurking in the sidelines until election results are released.

John Keells Holdings dragged the ASPI down, closing at 112.00 rupees a share, down by 1.20 rupees.
Bowns Investment PLC shares closed 10 cents lower at 2.20 rupees a share while Asian Hotels and Properties PLC shares closed 2.50 rupees lower at 30.40 rupees a share, also contributing to the ASPI’s decline. (Colombo/Aug05/2020)