The Colombo stock market has seen Rs. 35 billion in value wiped off so far this week and year-to-date return has shrunk to below 2%, with local investors either selling out or on the sidelines owing to negative developments.
On Monday market capitalisation was down by Rs. 21 billion whilst yesterday the dip was lesser at Rs. 14 billion.
Despite the year-to-date net outflow of Rs. 1 billion as of early this week, there was net foreign inflow of over Rs. 300 million yesterday.
This was emphasised by NDB Stockbrokers which headlined its market report ‘Foreign accumulation continues as market loses ground’. It said the market remained in the negative territory despite continuing to witness continuing foreign activity.
Hatton National Bank saw foreign transfers as well as some local interest while Commercial Bank and John Keells Holdings experienced foreign buying, boosting turnover levels. Meanwhile, Sampath Bank saw accumulation while some retail activity was seen in Free Lanka Capital Holdings and Panasian Power.
“Yesterday indices closed lower with many blue chips losing ground whilst John Keells Holdings managing to hold steady. Large deals on banking counters Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank helped to boost turnover on day dominated by blue chips,” said Lanka Securities, adding “A period of stock picking is upon us as we can expect a slight bearish trend in the near term.”
ASI lost 37.11 points or 0.64%, slimming its year-to-date gain to 1.67%, and the S&P SL20 index lost 10.71 points or 0.33%. Turnover was a respectable Rs. 1.52 billion.
Top contributors to turnover were Hatton National Bank with Rs. 799.5 million, Commercial Bank with Rs. 281 million, and John Keells Holdings with Rs. 197.6 million. Most active counters for the day were Central Investments & Finance, Sampath Bank and John Keells Holdings.
Lanka Securities said cash map yesterday was 34.75%. Foreign participation was 68.76% of total market turnover whilst net foreign buying was Rs. 301.1 million.
Foreign purchases were Rs. 1,195.92 million as against sales of Rs. 894.81 million.
Softlogic Stockbrokers said HNB saw a volume of 5.4 million shares transacting, of which 5.28 million traded via four off the market trades at a uniform price of Rs. 147. The counter traded at a low of Rs. 147 and a high of Rs. 148 before ending the day at Rs. 147, losing 0.68% or Re. 1 over Monday’s closing.
COMB saw two million shares changing hands at Rs. 109 each through a crossing generating a turnover of Rs. 218 million. The counter ended the day at Rs. 108.60 rising by 1.02%.
JKH, SAMP and DIST witnessed price appreciations towards the end of the trading session.
DNH Financial said heading towards the rest of the week, it expects any selling pressure to fizzle out over the next couple of days.
“We reiterate the need for investors to go bottom-fishing concentrating on fundamentally-strong stocks that have strong and sustainable business models and are likely to continue to report healthy earnings growth on the back of the robust domestic consumption cycle shrugging off the high interest rate environment,” it added.