Reuters - Sri Lankan shares fell to a more-than-one-week low yesterday led by illiquid shares such as Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc and Commercial Leasing & Finance Plc in low-volume trade while many investors and brokers stayed away ahead of holidays, dealers said.
The index ended 0.21 percent down at 6,899.29 on Thursday, its lowest close since March 31.
Shares in Ceylon Tobacco fell 0.97 percent, while Commercial Leasing and Finance declined 4.76 percent. Both shares fell on just one trade each.
“Market is down on illiquid shares. But the turnover was good,” said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd, adding that blue-chips like John Keells Holdings and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc boosted the turnover. The day’s turnover was Rs.657.6 million ($4.95 million), just above half of this year’s daily average of Rs.1.12 billion.
The market will be closed on April 13 and April 14 for the traditional Sinhala-Tamil New Year holiday.
The index had lost 6.6 percent last month, its biggest monthly drop since October 2012, as investors sold their holdings to settle margin trades amid concerns about political stability and a rise in interest rates.
Yields on T-bills rose at Wednesday’s auction by 1 to 15 basis points after it had fallen between 55 basis points and 63 basis points in the three weekly auctions through April 1.
Analysts expect trading to stay thin through mid-April ahead of the New Year holiday and amid political uncertainty.
Shares in John Keells Holdings Plc fell 0.20 percent while Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc fell 0.36 percent. ($1 = 132.8000 Sri Lankan rupees)