Bears take a breather at Bourse

Thursday, 26 January 2012 01:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The seven-day fall in the Colombo stock market, more sharply this week, was checkmated yesterday as the bearish run took a breather helping indices to close on the up.

After losing Rs. 90 billion in the past two days, some degree of bargain hunting was evident though cautiously. However the ASI closed up 20.2 points or 0.36% and the MPI by 26 points or 0.5%. Caution was evident as turnover was Rs. 629 million.

“Market saw a slight rebound with indices fluctuating but remaining in the green throughout the day,” NDB Stockbrokers said.

New World Securities said both indices were up as investors gained confidence in the market once again due to net foreign purchases of Rs. 179 million on Tuesday and Rs. 65.9 million yesterday.

“This positive sentiment will remain if the foreigners continue to pick low value stocks,” New World Securities added.

Lanka Securities said the market rebounded to the positive territory however on a lacklustre note.

Arrenga Capital noted there was a slight recovery with some volatility during first half of the day. Indices opened the day on a cautious note while continuing on Tuesday’s decline as the ASPI saw a bottom of 5,508 before witnessing a sharp recovery and peaking at 5,588.

The seesaw continued up to midday as it settled with the benchmark index closing at 5,556 and the more liquid Milanka closing at 4,736 to end on a positive note.

“Support for the high growth blue chip counters are likely to grow with valuations becoming rather attractive. With comparable attractive valuations returning to selected counters of the market, a foreign inflow was recorded for the third consecutive day,” Arrenga added.  

John Keells Holdings topped the turnover list with 441,000 shares trading. The counter traded between Rs. 159.2 and Rs. 162.0 as its closed flat for the day at Rs. 160.0.

After the heavy dip most of the speculative counters, some recovery was witnessed today amidst weak investor interest. Activity levels remained comparatively high in Asia Asset Finance and Swarnamahal Finance. The former saw 8.4 million shares trading to close at Rs. 6.6 (+6.6%) while the latter which has been gathering considerable interest in the last few days retained its positive momentum yesterday as well gaining +0.9% to end at Rs. 114.9.

Retail favourite, Environmental Resources Investments similar to most speculative counters today gained marginally (1.1%) with 1.3 million shares trading. Meanwhile the less activity levels were observed most other speculative counters including Blue Diamonds (+5.2%), Blue Diamonds [Non-Voting] (+2.8%), Ceylon Leather Products (+4.2%).

A significant number of counters (c.50) recorded 52-week low prices which included large number from the banking and finance sector. Sampath Bank (+0.7%), NDB (-0.5%), DFCC (+0.8%), People’s Leasing (+0.7%), LOFC (-1.5%) were some of the prominent counters among the list.

However Banking sector heavyweight Commercial Bank (+1.3%)and its Commercial Bank [Non-Voting] held steady suggesting the support for counters with sound valuations.