April 23, 2018 / 11:34 AM / 3 months ago

Sri Lankan stocks hit 1-week low; all eyes on cabinet reshuffle

COLOMBO, April 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan share index ended marginally weaker on Monday, hitting a one-week closing low, as investors awaited fresh cues as a new cabinet is expected to be sworn in this week, stockbrokers said.

The market has been waiting for some political stability after President Maithripala Sirisena suspended parliament until May 8, brokers said. The cabinet reshuffle was expected on Monday, but government sources said it has been delayed.

The Colombo stock index ended 0.24 percent weaker at 6,525.17, its lowest close since April 16. The index gained 0.88 percent last week.

“The sentiment has not yet improved. The market is awaiting the cabinet reshuffle to see some political stability,” said Prashan Fernando, CEO at Acuity Stockbrokers.

Turnover stood at 554.8 million rupees ($3.54 million), around half of this year’s daily average of 1.1 billion rupees.

Shares in Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Plc fell 2.7 percent while Ceylinco Insurance Plc ended 2.3 percent weaker and Cargills (Ceylon) Plc closed 1.2 percent down.

Foreign investors bought shares worth a net 100.5 million rupees on Monday, but they have been net sellers of 1.2 billion rupees worth of equities so far this year. ($1 = 156.7000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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