Sri Lankan stocks likely to head south when markets open

Punters playing Sri Lankan stocks will look for a clear direction from Thursday’s presidential poll before placing bets, when trading opens today, analysts said. Punters playing Sri Lankan stocks will look for a clear direction from Thursday’s presidential poll before placing bets, when trading opens today, analysts said. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was marginally ahead of his key rival opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, after 50 percent of votes were counted in the presidential race so far, according to data released by elections department.

Results showed that Rajapakse had received 2.8 million votes, or 51 percent of the 5.1 million votes counted so far. Some 10 million valid votes were cast in total on Thursday.

Ex-premier Wickremesinghe was trailing with 2.6 million ballots, or 48 percent of the votes counted so far.

“The market is likely to go down further … possibility of recovering midway on buying opportunities,” observed Vajira Premawardhana, Head of Research LOLC Securities.

The stockmarket plunged by 1.9 percent on Thursday on news that minority Tamils in the North had boycotted the hotly contested race.

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