The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) of the Colombo Stock Exchange dropped below the psychological 6,000 point mark yesterday amid lack of foreign buying in the market.
The ASPI fell 0.42 percent (25 points) to close at 5,982.35 and the S&P SL20 Index fell 0.29 percent (9.69 points) to close at 3,376.73.
The volumes for the day remained at 12 million and the turnover stood at Rs.191.7, way below this year’s average turnover of little over Rs.1 billion. According to Softlogic Equity Research, this was the lowest turnover recorded since December 24 of last year.
According to market analysts, the lack of foreign buying was likely to have caused by the Congressional testimony by the US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake both yesterday and today.
Bernake’s testimony is expected to offer clarity on when the Federal Reserve will reduce its stimulus by deviating from the bond buying programme.
According to brokers, foreign participation for the day was 14 percent of the total market activity and at the end of the trading, foreign investors were net buyers with a net inflow of Rs.14 million.
Hatton National Bank registered the sole crossing for the day with 250,000 shares changing hands at Rs.154.
Shares in oil palm cultivator Good Hope PLC fell 21.42 percent to Rs.1,100 in thin trade, while leading mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata fell 2.3 percent to Rs.8.50.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan rupee fell 0.17 percent yesterday to its lowest level in 10 months on importer dollar demand and in the absence of Central Bank intervention.