October 30, 2009 / 12:50 PM / 9 years ago

S.Lanka bourse at fresh 1-month low on economic woes

COLOMBO, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s stock market .CSE ended at a new one-month low on Friday, as investors stayed cautious on economic worries, repercussions from a U.S. insider trading case and the possible loss of an EU trade concession.

The All-Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell 0.23 points or 0.01 percent to 2976.93, its lowest close since Sept. 30.

“Investors are waiting for directions,” said Prashan Fernando, executive director at Acuity Stockbrokers. “Turnover has been very low for this week on this wait-and-see approach.”

The day’s turnover was at 325.61 million rupees ($2.83 million) and the this week’s daily average turnover recorded 329.1 million rupees, well below this year’s daily average turnover of 530.6 million rupees.

The bourse has been sliding despite state bank’s lending rate were slashed by almost half with effect from Wednesday. [ID:nCOL190249]

The market has already been cooling off because of the likely loss of an EU trade concession , worries of lower-than-expected corporate earnings and the arrest of one of Sri Lanka’s main investors in a U.S. insider trading case earlier this month. Trade union actions in the state sectors like power, energy, education, health, and transport, demanding post-war salary hikes ahead of national polls due by April 2010, are also weighing on the investor confidence.

For more political risks, click [ID:nSP539379]

The oil palms sector .CSEOP closed 3.29 percent weaker led by Bukit Darah BUKI.CM falling 5.8 percent to 1,600.50 rupees, while top mobile phone operator Dialog Telekom DIAL.CM closed 3.44 percent weaker at 7.00 rupees a share.

Market heavyweight John Keells Holdings JKH.CM, which posted 43 percent drop in its net profit in the September quarter [ID:nCOL450119], closed 0.53 percent at 142.50 rupees.

With around 98 percent return so far this year, the CSE is still one of the best performing bourses in Asia.

The rupee LKR= closed flat at 114.80/85 a dollar with the central bank buying dollars at 114.80, dealers said.

The interbank lending rate or call money rate CLIBOR edged up to 9.121 percent from Thursday’s 8.963 percent.

For secondary market rates, please see <0#LKBMK=>. (Editing by Bryson Hull)

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