COLOMBO, May 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a second straight session and hit a near one-week low on Tuesday on profit-taking, while investors cautiously awaited policy direction from the country’s new finance minister.
President Maithripala Sirisena switched the finance and foreign ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, in a bid to restore confidence in the administration’s handling of the economy.
The Colombo stock index ended 0.55 percent weaker at 6,689.96, its lowest close since May 15.
The bourse recorded its highest close since Jan. 7, 2016 on Friday.
The index rose 0.83 percent last week and has climbed 11 percent since March 31 through Friday.
Turnover stood at 807.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($5.29 million), less than this year’s daily average of 886.5 million rupees.
“Market took a breather as there was a bit of a retail selling while local participation was low,” said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Stockbrokers.
“The turnover levels are still good and we see continued foreign buying, a good sign.”
Foreign investors net bought shares worth 527.6 million rupees worth of equities on Tuesday, extending their year-to-date net inflows to 18.5 billion rupees.
Shares in Lion Brewery Plc fell 9.89 percent while Nanda Investment Plc fell 13.17 percent.
Ceylon Cold Stores Plc ended 2.59 percent weaker while the biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc , fell 1.09 percent.
$1 = 152.6500 Sri Lankan rupees Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Vyas Mohan