Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.6-pct

COLOMBO, Dec 02, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks closed lower Tuesday with turnover below the 12-month average for the second straight day as investors remained nervous about political instability stemming from a split in the ruling party ahead of presidential polls.

The All Share Price Index fell 45.10 points to 7,230.58 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, closed at 4,025.13, down 15.54 points or 0.38 percent. Turnover was just over a billion rupees.

The market opened higher but profit taking caused prices to slump.

Asia Securities said foreign investors continued to be net buyers for the 19th straight session taking positions in selected stocks.

"Access Engineering, which continued to secure its position in the top turnover contributors’ list, emerged as the day’s top turnover contributor, boosted by foreign investor interest," the brokers said.

There were six crossings or off-market deals of 6.6 million shares at 38 rupees each.

The market downturn was triggered by the defection Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who quit on November 21 with other ministers, to announce he would challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the common opposition candidate in a snap presidential poll set for January 8.

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