Sri Lankan stocks becalmed

COLOMBO, Dec 08, 2014 (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks continued their see-saw ride closing barely changed Monday with turnover slumping but foreign investors remaining net buyers amid uncertainty ahead of January 8 presidential polls.

The All Share Price Index closed at 7,241.47, up just 2.55 points or 0.04 percent while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, ended at 4,059.32, down 2.24 points or 0.06 percent.

Turnover sank to a nearly 18-week low of 612 million rupees with foreign investors net buyers albeit at reduced levels.

Chevron Lubricants Lanka, which last week commissioned a bigger, semi-automated blending plant, positioning it for more exports, hit a 52-week high. It rose up 2.6 percent or 43 rupees to end at 385 rupees.

Shares of Lanka IOC were traded heavily following last Friday’s reduction in fuel prices, Lanka Securities said. It dropped to 55.10 rupees but managed to close higher at 56.20, up 0.5 percent.

The reduction of liquid petroleum gas prices by 250 rupees affected the share price of Laugfs Gas with the voting share closing at 40.90 rupees, down 0.2 percent, and the non-voting share down 2.2 percent to 36 rupees.

The market, which is up about 22 percent this year, turned volatile two weeks ago after a political crisis erupted with a snap presidential poll being announced for January 8, 2015 followed by a split in the ruling coalition.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena quit on November 21 with other ministers to announce he would challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the common candidate in a coalition of opposition parties who closed ranks aiming to prevent Rajapaksa’s bid for an unprecedented third term.

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