Sri Lankan shares snap 5-day wining streak

COLOMBO, May 12 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares ended marginally lower on Thursday, snapping a five-session winning streak, as investors booked profit in telecommunication shares and foreign investors continued to exit risky assets.

Investors were also concerned that the government’s move to increase value-added tax and impose new taxes, effective from May 2, would hit company bottomlines.

"It (the stock index) hit the resistance level and turned back. There is a lot of selling pressure, but people are waiting to see where the level is," said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

"The fall indicated weakness in the market and selling pressure, but John Keells was holding the market."

The benchmark stock index ended 0.08 percent, or 5.33 points, weaker at 6,656.12, after posting its highest closing level since January 8 on Wednesday.

Shares of Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 5.1 percent, while Asiri Hospitals Plc dropped 2.7 percent.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc rose 1.2 percent.

Turnover was Rs1.03 billion ($7.08 million), more than this year’s daily average of around Rs786 million.

Foreign investors offloaded a net Rs226.2 million worth of shares, extending the net selling so far this year to Rs3.97 billion worth of equities.

The 14-day relative strength index stood at 80.539 on Thursday, compared with Wednesday’s 81.677, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level of 70 and above indicates that the market is overbought.

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