COLOMBO (Reuters): Sri Lankan shares edged lower yesterday, falling for a fourth straight session to end at their lowest close in more than five months, as investors continued to stay on the sidelines looking for fresh cues.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.04 percent weaker at 6,352.61, its lowest close since Dec 26. The bourse fell 0.7 percent last week recording a third straight weekly fall.
“The market was very slow with weak investor sentiment and things continue to remain low,” said First Capital Holdings Research Head Dimantha Mathew.
“The investor perspective is things are uncertain and they are not willing to invest due to lack of any positive news on the economic front.”
Most investors have adopted a wait-and-watch approach, hoping for some positive news on the economic front, analysts said.
Turnover was Rs.393.9 million, less than half of this year’s daily average of Rs.970.2 million.
Foreign investors bought net Rs.59.6 million worth of equities yesterday. The market, however, has witnessed a year-to-date net foreign outflow of Rs.494.9 million worth of shares.
A weaker rupee, political uncertainty and the recent fuel price hike weighed on sentiment in the past week with local investors remaining on the sidelines as they gauged the impact of the floods last month, brokers said.
The Sri Lankan rupee slipped to a fresh all-time low of 159.10 per dollar yesterday, pulled down by a lack of support for the local currency from exporters.
Shares in Asiri Hospitals PLC ended 0.4 percent lower, while Melstacorp Ltd closed 0.6 percent weaker, Distillers Company of Sri Lanka PLC closed down 0.9 percent, the biggest-listed lender Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC ended 0.3 percent lower and Sri Lanka Telecom PLC closed 1.6 percent weaker.