Stock market opens new week with sharp drop owing to pandemic pessimism

Wednesday, 28 April 2021 00:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Colombo stock market began a fresh week on a negative note with indices plunging by over 2% amidst moderate turnover. 

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) declined by 2.3% or 166 points and the S&PSL20 dipped sharply by 2.7% or 77 points. Turnover was Rs. 1.94 billion involving 105.7 million shares. 

First Capital said the bourse ended red for the third consecutive day as investor mood continues to be relatively pessimistic towards the pandemic. 

“The ASPI slumped by nearly 146 points during the first 17 minutes of trading and then observed a slight upward movement during the next few minutes displaying sizable volatility. Subsequently, the index witnessed a continuous downward momentum to close at 7,067 losing 166 points,” First Capital added.

It said the Rs. 1.9 billion turnover marked a three-and-a-half-week low, as the Capital Goods sector led the turnover followed by Materials and Food, Beverage and Tobacco sectors providing a joint contribution of 62%. 

NDB Equities said the indices closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as LOLC Holdings, Expolanka Holdings and Commercial Bank.

It said high net worth and institutional investor participation remained subdued for the day. 

Mixed interest was observed in Hayleys Fabric, Dipped Products and Royal Ceramics, whilst retail interest was noted in LOLC Holdings, Expolanka Holdings and Browns Investments. Foreign participation in the market remained at subdued levels with foreigners closing as net buyers.

The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Royal Ceramics), whilst the sector index lost 3.14%. The share price of Royal Ceramics decreased by Rs. 2.50 (7.42%) to close at Rs. 31.20.

The Materials sector was the second-highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Dipped Products), whilst the sector index decreased by 2.35%. The share price of Dipped Products moved down by Rs. 2.20 (4.03%) to close at Rs. 52.40.

Browns Investments, Expolanka Holdings and Hayleys Fabric were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Browns Investments lost Rs. 0.20 (3.23%) to close at Rs. 6. The share price of Expolanka Holdings recorded a loss of Rs. 2 (4.35%) to close at Rs. 44. The share price of Hayleys Fabric appreciated by Rs. 0.60 (3.66%) to close at Rs. 17.

Separately Sanasa Development Bank announced a first and final dividend of Rs. 2.25 per share. Union Chemicals Lanka announced a final dividend of Rs. 14 per share.

Asia Securities said the foreign investors closed as buyers, recording a net inflow of Rs. 21.5 million. Estimated net foreign buying topped in Swisstek at Rs. 17 million and net foreign selling topped in Sunshine Holdings at Rs. 13.7 million.