Sri Lankan shares at 2-month low in thin trade

COLOMBO, June 19 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell to a two-month low in light trade on Friday led by banking shares while investors turned cautious ahead of an announcement on the date of a parliamentary election.

The main stock index ended down 0.41 percent at 7,035.15, its lowest close since April 15.

The market saw a net foreign outflow of 102.8 million rupees ($766,592.10) on Friday, extending net foreign sales in the past 18 sessions to 3.42 billion rupees.

The bourse, however, has seen net inflows of 2.52 billion rupees into equities so far in 2015.

"Political uncertainty is keeping traders and big investors cautious about the market, but long-term investors are slowly collecting," said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, chief operating officer of Richard Pieris Securities (Pvt) Ltd.

Investors were confused due to a lack of direction on interest rates, economic policies, and on the timing of the parliamentary election, analysts said.

President Sirisena’s government has said it would dissolve parliament once some crucial reforms, including an electoral bill, are passed, but is yet to fix a date for the election.

Shares in biggest listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc ended 1.70 percent weaker, helping to pull down the overall index, while Sri Lanka Telecom Plc eased 2.17 percent.

Turnover stood at 635.4 million rupees, less than this year’s daily average of about 1.11 billion rupees.

 

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