Sri Lanka shares fall to 5-week low over President’s inflation comments

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed weaker on Thursday (06) at their lowest in five weeks as investor sentiments dented following president Ranil Wickremesinghe’s comment on inflation, dealers said.

Investors shrugged off the central bank’s decision to keep the policy rates steady.

The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 1.47 percent or 136.78 points to close at 9,182.23, its lowest since August 31.

“ASPI reverted back to the red zone as selling pressure mounted after comments from the President over the country’s inflation dragged down the investor sentiment,” First Capital Market Research said in its daily note.

“…policy rates were maintained today at the Monetary Policy Meeting causing deeper wounds to the investor sentiment. Moreover, Banking sector shares plunged today after the President comments on the imposition of a deposit rate cap in a move to tackle the rising inflation.”

The market has also seen profit-taking Lanka IOC and Expolanka.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 closed at 2.33 percent or 67.24 points lower at 2,820.43.

The market saw a turnover of 2.8 billion rupees, lower than this year’s average turnover of 3.2 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a net foreign inflow of 62.6 million rupees on Thursday. The inflow so far this year is 15.4 billion rupees after 16.8 billion rupees of net offshore buying in the last 38 consecutive sessions amid positive sentiment over an IMF deal.

The market witnessed its highest monthly net foreign inflows into the stock market last month in more than 10 years as some foreigners converted their dividend payments into risky assets because they could not get dollars to repatriate due to the forex crisis.

The island nation’s 4 trillion rupees worth stock market saw 14.7 billion rupees ($40.8 million) net foreign
inflow in September, its highest since March 2012.

The index has lost 24.8 percent so far this year after being one of the world’s best stock markets with an 80 percent return last year when large volumes of money were printed.

Lanka IOC closed 4.5 percent lower at 229.5 rupees a share.

Expolanka closed 4.3 percent down at 169.00 rupees and LOLC Holdings ended 3.7 percent
weaker at 438.5 rupees a share. (Colombo/Oct06/2022)

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