The Colombo stock market had a mixed bag yesterday after a stellar run as retailers took profit from counters which gained sharply whilst the other select sound stocks gained with over Rs. 3 billion turnover.
On a choppy day for indices, the ASPI closed lower by near 19 points or 0.3% whilst the more active S&P SL20 gained by 32 points or 1.3%. Turnover was Rs. 3.6 billion.
First Capital said profit-taking in counters that surged for the past couple of weeks reverted the direction of the ASPI to negative while S&P SL20 sustained the drive in the green zone.
“Index experienced a downtrend within the early hour of trading thereafter recorded a short-lived bounce back during mid-day. Later market moved downwards and closed at 6,096 losing 19 points,” First Capital said.
It added that Capital Goods sector led the turnover for the session closely followed by Transportation sector counters making a combined contribution of 58%.
Asia Securities said news of progress on the COVID-19 vaccine saw investors reacting with selling taking place in stocks that have seen performance predominantly being driven by the pandemic. On the other hand, conglomerates and hotels saw gains during the day with the expectation of foreign travel normalising if the pandemic is brought under control. Hemas also saw large interest during the day given that Pfizer is a principal of the company.
Buying interest in blue chip counters was witnessed from HNI and institutional investors, Asia Securities added.
NDB Securities said the ASPI closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as Expolanka Holdings, Hayleys and Singer Sri Lanka.
It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in John Keells Holdings. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Dipped Products and Hayleys, whilst retail interest was noted in Access Engineering, Richard Pieris & Company and Vallibel Power Erathna.
Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings, Hayleys and Access Engineering), whilst the sector index lost 0.38%. The share price of John Keells Holdings gained Rs. 1.30 (0.95%) to close at Rs. 138.20. Furthermore, the share price of Hayleys recorded a loss of Rs. 54.90 (12.49%) to close at Rs. 384.60, whilst The share price of Access Engineering appreciated by Rs. 0.40 (1.63%) to close at Rs. 25.00.
Transportation sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Expolanka Holdings), whilst the sector index decreased by 7.78%. The share price of Expolanka Holdings decreased by Rs. 2.20 (7.80%) to close at Rs. 26.00.
Dipped Products was also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Dipped Products moved down by Rs. 44.80 (11.93%) closing at Rs. 330.80, whilst foreign holdings decreased by 173,876 shares.
Separately Ceylon Tobacco Company, Colombo City Holdings, Lanka Tiles and Lanka Walltiles announced their interim dividends of Rs. 19, Rs. 50, Rs. 3.85 and Rs. 3.60 per share respectively.