REUTERS: Sri Lankan shares edged down yesterday as investors booked profits in blue chips such as John Keells Holdings PLC, with analysts saying the market was waiting for policy direction from newly-appointed Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
President Maithripala Sirisena switched the finance and foreign ministers in a cabinet reshuffle yesterday, in a bid to restore confidence in the administration’s handling of the economy.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.04 percent weaker at 6,726.90, slipping from its highest close since January 7, 2016 hit on Friday.
The index rose 0.83 percent last week, and has climbed 11 percent since March 31 through Friday.
Turnover stood at Rs.335.6 million, well below this year’s daily average of Rs.887.3 million.
“The market is struggling to break the current psychological level. The market need a bit of a breather before it kick-starts again. We are seeing a bit of profit-taking,” said First Capital Holdings PLC Head of Research Dimantha Mathew.
Foreign investors net sold shares worth Rs.30.6 million yesterday, but they have net bought Rs.17.98 billion worth of shares so far this year.
The shares in the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC fell 3.41 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC ended 0.30 percent weaker.