The Colombo stock market gathered momentum with indices posting better gains along with improved turnover.
The All Share Price Index rose by over 43 points or 0.54% and the S&P SL20 rose by over 20 points or 0.67%. Turnover amounted to Rs. 2.5 billion involving 142.3 million shares.
First Capital said the benchmark index – ASPI – sustained in the green territory for the second consecutive day amidst the retail optimism while S&P SL20 followed suit, securing a considerable gain.
“Index recorded a strong uptrend during the first 30 minutes, followed by a temporary dip and pullback within the next few minutes of trading. Later, market experienced an upward shift and reached intraday high of 8,147 prior to closing at 8,141,” First Capital added.
It said turnover was led by the Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector, followed by Capital Goods sector, making a joint contribution of 30%.
Asia Securities said following a 43-point gap up opening, the ASPI dropped to 8,102 level, however, gradually recovered its early gains and regained momentum on the back of price gains in DIST, LOLC and SPEN. On similar lines, the more liquid S&P SL20 index stabilised in the narrow range of 3,070-3,080 after staging a gap up of 30 points. Activity improved from yesterday’s levels, mainly led by retail and HNI investors.
The Food, Beverage and Tobacco, Capital Goods, Transportation and Materials sectors led activity, collectively accounting for 53.5% of turnover.
Asia said foreigners recorded a net outflow of Rs. 141.6 million while their participation increased to 5.7% of turnover (previous day 4.8%). Estimated net foreign buying topped in RCL at Rs. 11 million and net foreign selling topped in DIAL at Rs. 91.3 million.
NDB Securities said the ASPI closed in green as a result of price gains in counters such as Distilleries, LOLC Holdings and Aitken Spence.
It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Printcare, Asiri Hospital Holdings and Harischandra Mills. Mixed interest was observed in Asia Siyaka Commodities, Expolanka Holdings and Dialog Axiata whilst retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing non-voting, Ambeon Holdings and Lankem Ceylon. Foreign participation in the market activity remained at subdued levels with foreigners closing as net sellers.
The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the top contributor to the market turnover whilst the sector index gained 0.56%.
The Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover whilst the sector index increased by 1.04%.
Expolanka Holdings, Printcare, Ambeon Holdings, Dialog Axiata and Bogala Graphite Lanka were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Expolanka Holdings decreased by Rs. 0.10 (0.15%) to close at Rs. 66.70.
The share price of Printcare gained Rs. 7.50 (22.32%) to close at Rs. 41.10. The share price of Ambeon Holdings moved up by Rs. 1.50 (5.42%) to close at Rs. 29.20. The share price of Dialog Axiata closed flat at Rs. 11.70 whilst foreign holdings decreased by 7,807,434 shares. The share price of Bogala Graphite Lanka appreciated by Rs. 5.30 (6.95%) to close at Rs. 81.60.
Separately, Lanka Ashok Leyland announced a first and final dividend of Rs. 2 per share.