The main All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 2.6 percent or 338.10 points lower to close at 12,584.02 points. It was the worst fall since November 19 and the index hit its lowest since Dec. 29, the bourse data showed.
Wednesday’s fall was the sixth slip in the last seven session.
“Bourse closed lower and remained in the red zone while recording the highest intraday loss in nearly 2 ½ – months due to increased skepticism among investors over prevailing uncertain economic conditions,” FirstCapital Market Research said in a note.
“…As investors panicked and urged to collect profits throughout the session, market displayed a continuous downtrend…”
S&P SL20 of the more liquid index down 1.35 percent or 59.21 points to 4,338.36.
Foreign investors, who are highly worried about possible sharp depreciation or devaluation in the currency, sold a net of 47.8 million rupees. The foreign sales so far this year has been 2.8 billion rupees. In 2021, the Sri Lanka stock market suffered a net foreign outflow of 50 billion rupees.
Analyst had predicted that the economic concerns to drag the market time to time until the government finds a sustainable solution for the country’s looming debt crisis.
The island nation repaid a 500 million US dollar loan on January 18 to avoid a sovereign debt default, but persisting forex shortage has weighed on the country’s oil imports and led to power cuts. The government is struggling to avoid continuous power cuts amid announced and unannounced power cuts across the country.
The day’s turnover was 8.9 billion rupees, above this year’s daily average of 7.9 billion rupees.
Investor sentiment has turned negative amid record-high inflation, depreciation pressure on the rupee, central bank’s excess printing money and the government’s failure to take sustainable action to deal with the debt crisis.
Analysts said investors are worried about possible currency depreciation, the government’s ability to avert a sovereign debt default, and fuel shortages hitting factory manufacturing and thus hitting future earnings.
Expolanka, LOLC Holdings and Softlogic Life Insurance continued to dragged the index down on Wednesday as well.
Expolanka, the market heavyweight which has export and freight businesses, plunged 8.84 percent to close at 314.50 rupees. The firm reported a staggering four-fold earning of 23 billion rupees in the December 2021 quarter compared to a year earlier pushed by higher freight rates and recovery of sales to North American and European markets.
LOLC Holdings slipped 6.28 percent to close at 1,118.50 rupees a share, while Softlogic Life Insurance down 22.68 percent to close at 141.50 rupees a share. (Colombo/Feb02/2022)[/size]
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