REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares ended marginally lower yesterday, snapping a five-session winning streak, as investors booked profit in telecommunications shares and foreign investors continued to exit risky assets.
Investors were also concerned that the government’s move to increase the value added tax and impose new taxes, effective from May 2, would hit the bottom lines of companies.
“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, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.
“The fall indicated the weakness in the market and the 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 Jan. 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 Rs. 1.03 billion ($7.08 million), more than this year’s daily average of around Rs. 786 million.
Foreign investors offloaded a net Rs. 226.2 million worth of shares, extending the net selling so far this year to Rs. 3.97 billion worth of equities.
The 14-day relative strength index stood at 80.539 on yesterday, compared with Wednesday’s 81.677, Thomson Reuters data showed. A level of 70 and above indicates the market is overbought.