The main stock index dropped 0.02 percent, or 0.99 points, to 5,774.10, edging down from its highest close since Nov.25. The market had hit a 10-week low on Wednesday.
'People are still looking for directions' from the budget and earnings in the December quarter, a stockbroker said.
The market has been in a falling trend after September quarter earnings pointed to slower growth. Investors are worried that fresh taxes announced in the budget last week could hit consumer spending and thus revenue of listed firms.
Research published by John Keells Stock Brokers showed cumulative September-quarter earnings reported by 263 companies out of 288 listed firms have fallen 28.1 percent year-on-year.
Shares in large cap Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC jumped 4.76 percent to 1100.00 rupees.
Sri Lanka Telecom PLC fell 3.56 percent to 37.90 rupees and shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC fell 0.47 percent to 209.90 rupees, while Carson Cumberbatch PLC fell 2.30 percent to 361.50 rupees.
The day's turnover was 835.1 million rupees ($6.36 million), boosted by block trades in PCH Holdings Ltd and Orient Garments. This year's daily average turnover is 845.2 million rupees.
Foreign investors were net sellers of 32.3 million rupees worth of shares, but the bourse has enjoyed an year-to-date net inflow of 22.51 billion rupees.
($1 = 131.2500 Sri Lanka rupees)
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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