Sri Lankan shares hit more than 1-wk closing low ahead of budget
COLOMBO, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares hit a more than one-week closing low on Wednesday as a surprise win for Republican Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election weighed on sentiment and as investors turned cautious ahead of the national budget on Thursday.
Investors feared a Trump victory could cause global economic and trade turmoil and years of policy unpredictability, which among other things, will discourage the U.S. Federal Reserve from raising interest rates in December as long expected.
The U.S. dollar, Mexican peso and world stocks began to steady in the European morning though, after having been hammered overnight.
Sri Lanka’s 2017 budget plan will seek to boost revenue through a capital gain tax on properties, simplify tax collection and offer incentives to spur exports, though progress will depend on the coalition government agreeing on economic priorities, analysts say.
The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.33 percent weaker, or down 21.51 points, at 6,417.55, its lowest close since Nov. 1.
"Primary focus will be on our budget," said Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
"It will take a few weeks for global markets to settle and during that period there could be volatility in our markets also, a trickle down effect of the global funds."
Turnover stood at 437.2 million rupees ($2.96 million), less than this year’s daily average of 713.3 million rupees.
Foreign investors bought beaten down stocks for a sixth straight session, picking up shares worth a net 106.03 million rupees. They have net sold 899.3 million rupees worth of shares so far this year.
Shares in the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, fell 1.07 percent, while Hatton National Bank Plc fell 1.80 percent.
Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.66 percent.