The Colombo Stock Market yesterday closed on a negative note, amidst lacklustre investor interest as turnover dropped below recent averages to Rs. 1.57 billion.
The All Share Price Index (ASPI) shed 7 points and S&P SL20 index declined by 29 points or 1.2%.
First Capital said volatile investor sentiment was witnessed ahead of the 2021 budget reading, reverting the direction of the market to negative.
“Index experienced a downtrend within the early hour of trading as it hit its intraday low of 6,054. Later market experienced a short-lived bounce back and closed at 6,091 losing 7 points,” it added.
NDB Securities said the ASPI edged down as a result of price losses in counters such as Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), Browns Investments and Commercial Leasing & Finance.
It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Ceylon Tobacco Company. Mixed interest was observed in Dipped Products, Sampath Bank and Aitken Spence, whilst retail interest was noted in Expolanka Holdings, Dialog Axiata and John Keells Hotels.
Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Aitken Spence), whilst the sector index lost 0.22%. The share price of Aitken Spence recorded a gain of Rs. 3.30 (7.86%) to close at Rs. 45.30.
Materials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Dipped Products), whilst the sector index decreased by 1.20%. The share price of Dipped Products lost Rs. 9.00 (2.67%) to close at Rs. 327.60.
Expolanka Holdings, Dialog Axiata and Sampath Bank were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings increased by Rs. 0.20 (0.78%) to close at Rs. 25.70. Furthermore, the share price of Dialog Axiata moved up by Rs. 0.20 (1.72%) to close at Rs. 11.80, whilst the share price of Sampath Bank declined by Rs. 3.40 (2.66%) to close at Rs. 124.60. Net foreign selling was Rs. 86 million, lower as against Rs. 400 million worth of net selling on Wednesday.
Separately, Union Chemicals Lanka, Watawala Plantations and Hemas Holdings announced their interim dividends of Rs. 15.00, Rs. 3.00 and Rs. 0.40 per share respectively.