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Wednesday May 19th, 2021
Markets

Sri Lankan shares fall for 7th session to post 1-mth closing low

COLOMBO, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell for a seventh straight session on Tuesday and posted their lowest close in a month as cautious investors awaited a flurry of corporate results and next month’s national budget, while fresh political concerns also weighed on sentiment, brokers said.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.15 percent weaker at 6,442.87, its lowest close since September 20.

"Investor sentiment will be the same until the budget next month. The market is also concerned about political stability after the president’s speech last week," said a stockbroker, asking not to be named.

The head of Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption body resigned on Monday, days after President Maithripala Sirisena implied that her agency was favouring the rival party of his prime minister.

This is likely to delay one of the promises of Sirisena’s coalition government of eliminating corruption and implementing rule of law, and might have an adverse impact on business confidence, analysts said.

Turnover stood at Rs389.6 million ($2.65 million), compared with this year’s daily average of around Rs743 million.

Foreign investors, who have sold a net Rs2.24 billion worth of shares so far this year, bought a net Rs98.2 million worth of equities on Tuesday.

Bluechips John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.66 percent, while top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom Plc dropped 1.63 percent.

Sri Lanka’s quarterly earnings season started last week but the bulk of locally listed firms will not report until late October or early November.

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