Late but active play by bargain hunters yesterday saw the stock market recover lost ground in early trading helping indices to close on the up.
The ASPI gained 9.52 points and the MPI by 7.59 points whilst the S&P SL 20 Index gained 1.06 points. Turnover was Rs. 275.5 million, down from Rs. 520 million on Tuesday. Foreigners were net buyers though the amount was low at Rs. 22 million as opposed to Rs. 400 million during the previous two days.
“The Bourse extended its bearish momentum to initiate the day’s trading as the ASPI touched a low of 4,851.3 (down 23.1 points) during mid-day. Nevertheless, buying interest in selected heavy indices pushed indices back to the green putting a halt to three days of consecutive losses,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.
It said gains in Ceylon Tobacco (+1.5%), DFCC Bank (+4.5%) and Commercial Bank of Ceylon (+0.7%) weighed on the indices positively whilst Carsons Cumberbatch (-2.2%) and Asian Hotels & Properties (-3.9%) were among the largest negative contributors.
Persisted interest in heavyweight John Keells Holdings led the counter to top the day’s turnover list (Rs. 30 million) as it saw several large trades being taken on board. JKH closed at Rs. 177 with a 0.8% dip.
Strong buying interest emerged in DFCC Bank after the mid hours of trading, led the counter to creep up in the turnover list with a number of large trades including around 131,100 share block being handled in the market at Rs. 110 each. The counter trading at premium to its peer banks saw its price appreciating by 4.5% at its close of Rs. 110 with 220,450 shares traded in total.
Interest stayed in Pan Asia Banking Corporation, whilst the non-voting share of Seylan Bank also encountered considerable buying interest as it advanced 3.6% to close at Rs. 25.50. Commercial Bank of Ceylon, among our key buys, continued to trade on its 52-week low as the counter saw several large trades on board.
Odel having had a dormant play recently got reactivated amidst strong retail and high net worth participation. The counter gained 28.2% at it close of Rs. 23, after touching a high of Rs. 23.30. PCH Holdings continued with its story of heavy on board deals as a further one million share block was taken at Rs. 13 before it closed with a 9.5% gain at Rs. 13.60. HVA Foods continued to be sought after by retailers as it advanced by 7.9% to close at Rs. 13.50.
Selling pressure emerged in index heavy Carsons Cumberbatch as the counter glided down to close at its low of Rs. 450 with a 2.2% dip. Further interest also extended in Free Lanka Capital as the counter continued to witness large trades as its value increased by 5.6% to close at Rs. 1.90. Interest also gathered in Piramal Glass trading at attractive valuations as it closed flat at Rs. 5.20.
Meanwhile, the rupee slipped on importer demand for dollars, closing at 130.95/131.05 against the dollar, down from Tuesday’s close of 130.80/90.