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Shares edge up, rupee falls; new leader’s policy direction awaited

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27 November 2019 08:52 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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(Colombo) REUTERS:  Sri Lankan shares recovered yesterday from a more than one-week closing low in the previous session, as investors picked up beverage and manufacturing shares. 


The benchmark stock index ended up 0.18 percent at 6,094.85, edging higher from its lowest close since Nov. 15 hit on Monday. The bourse gained 1.6 percent last week, and is up 0.70 percent for the year. 


Analysts said investors are awaiting some policy directions from the country’s newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.


Rajapaksa last week appointed his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current Prime Minister, as the new Finance Minister.


Rajapaksa has also appointed a 15-member Cabinet and is expected to name junior ministers on Tuesday. That will follow the appointments of officials to head state-owned firms, government officials say.


The rupee ended 0.36 percent weaker at 181.50/90 per dollar, slipping from Monday’s close of 180.85/181.05, Refinitiv data showed. It is up 0.6 percent so far this year. Foreign investors were net sellers for 21 sessions in 23.


 They sold a net Rs.101.5 million (US$ 563,889) worth of shares yesterday, extending the net selling so far this year to Rs.9.27 billion worth of equities, according
to index data. 


Equity market turnover was Rs. 633.3 million, less than this year’s daily average of about Rs.709 million. Last year’s daily average was Rs.834 million. 

Meanwhile, foreign investors were net buyers of government securities on a net basis for the fifth straight week, purchasing a net Rs.0.21 million worth of government securities in the week ended Nov. 20. 


Total foreign outflows from government securities through Nov. 20 stood at Rs.48 billion, the Central Bank data said.

 


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