The stock index slipped on Tuesday from a more-than-one-week high hit in the previous session, with many foreign investors exiting risky assets on speculation over a US rate hike while local investors were cautious ahead of a Parliamentary election.
The main stock index ended down 0.49% at 7,044.60, slipping from its highest close since 5 June hit on Monday.
“Big-caps dragged the market down. Not many locals are on the buying side. It’s not that they don’t have money, but it’s that they are not willing to buy at this moment,” said Dimantha Mathew, Research Manager at First Capital Equities Ltd.
“We expect the current stagnated situation to continue until the elections are announced.”
President Maithripala Sirisena’s Government has said it would dissolve Parliament once some crucial reforms, including an electoral bill, are passed, but is yet to fix a date for the election.
Tuesday’s turnover was Rs. 860.9 million ($6.43 million), well below this year’s daily average of about Rs. 1.1 billion.
The market saw net foreign outflows of Rs. 258.9 million ($ 1.93 million), extending net foreign outflow for the past 15 sessions to Rs. 2.54 billion. The Bourse, however, has seen net inflows of Rs. 3.40 billion into equities so far this year.
Analysts said foreign investors have been selling shares amid expectations the US would hike key interest rates sooner than expected.
Shares in Nestle Lanka Plc fell 5.14%, while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 0.67%.
Shares in Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc, which saw a net foreign outflow of 1.4 million shares on Tuesday, ended 0.67% weaker.
[size=36]Rupee ends steady for second straight day [/size]
Reuters: The rupee closed steady for a second straight session on Tuesday as a State-run bank, through which the Central Bank directs the market, offered dollars at 134 and on sales of the greenback by banks, dealers said.
The spot rupee ended steady at 134 per dollar, a record low the currency touched on Friday after the State-owned bank lowered the rupee’s level by 20 cents.
“The State bank is selling dollars at 134 and we see forwards picking up on par with the spot rupee rate. It is a healthy sign,” a currency dealer said on condition of anonymity.
Dealers said some banks sold dollars likely on behalf of exporters, who have been holding back on concerns the currency would stay steady due to continued dollar sales by the Central Bank.
Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said last week that the country should let market forces determine its rupee exchange rate and warned that trying to buck the global trend of a rising dollar is “suicidal”.
One-week forwards ended steady at 134.15/35 per dollar, while three-month forwards, trading of which picked up on Tuesday, ended little changed at 135.85/136.00, compared with Monday’s close of 135.84/135.90.
Courtesy: Daily Financial Times 17 June 2015