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Market falls to 22 - month low

29 May 2012 05:32 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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REUTERS: Sri Lanka’s stock market fell for a sixth straight session yesterday, once again hitting its lowest in almost 22 months, as investors’ wait for further clarification of a recently announced regulatory measure dragged into a new week.

The main share index fell 1.49 percent or 74.66 points to 4,935.01, its lowest close since August 9, 2010, extending its losses to 5.5 percent in the last six sessions.

“There may be bargain hunting when the market is coming down but the next support level seems to be at 4,500,” a stockbroker said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The market has been falling since Wednesday, when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a rule barring brokers from selling shares for six months from the day of buying.

On Friday, the SEC issued a statement about the rule but stockbrokers said they still needed more clarification on how the regulator intends to enforce it.

Uncertainty over the rupee, rising interest rates and slowing economic growth have knocked the index further. Foreign investors bought a net Rs.65.7 million worth of shares yesterday, extending the total net inflows into the stock market to Rs.22.4 billion this year. Turnover was Rs.395.7 million.

Technically, the index was oversold yesterday with the 14-day Relative Strength Index at 20.118, Reuters data showed. It is one of the worst performers among Asian markets, having fallen 18.76 percent since the start of the year.

The rupee fell to 131.10/131.20 against the dollar from Friday’s close of 130.90/131.00 on importer demand for dollars in thin trade.

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