Sri Lankan stocks end marginally lower ahead of polls

February, 8, 2018

Reuters - Sri Lankan shares ended lower for a second straight session on Wednesday as investors sold blue-chip stocks such as John Keells Holdings Plc ahead of the local government polls over the weekend.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.08 percent weaker at 6,507.25, slipping further from its highest close since Jan. 9 hit on Friday.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc slipped 0.6 percent, while Colombo Cold Stores Plc edged down 1.9 percent and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc lost 1.7 percent.

“There is no real direction as investors are on a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the elections,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research at First Capital Holdings.

“Turnover is boosted by some foreign buying.”

Sri Lanka will hold the long-delayed local government election on Feb. 10 amid worries about the future of the country’s coalition government.

The market turnover was 968.3 million rupees ($6.27 million), more than last year’s daily average of 915.3 million rupees.

Foreign investors bought a net 124.4 million rupees worth of shares on Wednesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign inflow to 4.5 billion rupees worth of equities.