REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares inched lower yesterday, with trading volume slumping to a more than six-week low, as investors awaited the national budget presentation scheduled later this week.
The Colombo stock index closed 0.1 percent weaker at 6,595.89, its lowest since Oct. 24.
The turnover was Rs. 260.2 million (US$1.7 million), a quarter of this year’s average daily turnover of Rs.937.8 million. “Investors are waiting for the budget, and quarterly earnings have also failed to inspire investors,” said Acuity Stockbrokers CEO Prashan Fernando.
Sri Lanka’s Central Bank yesterday revised down its economic growth forecast to between 4 percent and 4.5 percent for this year after holding its key interest rates steady as it focuses on supporting a faltering economy hit by extreme weather. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present the 2018 budget on Thursday.
Shares in top lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon fell 1 percent, while No. 1 mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata , which posted a 29.4 percent gain in its September-quarter earnings, closed 0.8 percent weaker.
Foreign investors sold shares net worth Rs.82 million in the session, but they have bought Rs.20.3 billion worth of equities so far this year.