Anti-government protests exert destabilizing impact on bourse

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The CSE started on a bullish note yesterday and moved up to over 100 points but later dipped due to numerous protests being staged against the government for postponing local government elections. During the latter part of the day the CSE managed to be positive though, stock market analysts said.

“Positive macroeconomic news is pushing the market to the green; this is combined with buying interest and profit taking, an analyst said.

Further, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is to meet China’s Finance Minister at a meeting of the Group of 20 countries in India presently as the International Monetary Fund is making a last ditch attempt to get Asian nations to conform to the debt restructuring framework.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index went up by 13.9 points and S and P SL20 rose by 1.88 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.81 billion sans any crossings.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 308 million (2.4 million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 220 million (1.1 million shares traded), Hemas Holdings Rs 90.8 million (1.4 million shares traded), Union Bank Rs 77 million (8.6 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 68 million (389,000 shares traded), SLT Rs 63 million (749,000 shares traded) and Access Engineering Rs 53.3 million (4.1 million shares traded). During the day 78.8 million share volumes changed hands in 18569 transactions.

Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.35 and selling rate 368.60. Further, nationwide inflation in January 2023 determined under the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) declined to 53.2 per cent from 59.2 per cent recorded in December 2022 on a year-on-year basis, the Department of Census and Statistics reported yesterday.

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