The Colombo stock market closed mixed ahead of the monetary policy review, though turnover was high, and the reversal of the chemical fertiliser policy boosted rerating of plantation stocks.
Asia Securities said the indices closed out trading on a mixed note on Wednesday amid a significant revival in the agriculture and plantation sector stocks, boosted by the Government’s decision to allow private firms to import chemical fertilisers.
“Given their sizable exposure to the lifting of the ban, stocks such as AGAL (+23.6%), RICH (+18.9%), MAL (+16.7%), SUN (+11.2%), KOTA (+11.4%), WATA (+10.7%), and KVAL (+10.4%) ended with sharp price increases on positive retail and HNI sentiments,” Asia said.
Turnover was Rs. 7.56 billion, improving from the Rs. 6.6 billion recorded in the previous session, supported by activity in BIL, LOLC, SUN, and EXPO. Earlier, the ASPI commenced the session hitting an intra-day high of 11,061 with a sharp 132-point gap up.
However, after witnessing an 88-point decline, the index remained subdued for the rest of the session and eventually ended slightly lower, while the more liquid S&P SL 20 index managed to close in green for the sixth consecutive session to scale another all-time closing high at 3,751 (+3.5 points). While LOLC group companies BIL, LOLC, and BRWN maintained their upward momentum, price declines in index-heavy CLC and LOFC weighed the ASPI down throughout trading hours. The breadth of the market was neutral with gainers and decliners coming in at 103 each.
Asia said foreigners recorded a net outflow of Rs. 104 million while their participation declined to 1.5% of turnover (previous day 2.1%). Net foreign buying topped in DIAL at Rs. 12.5 million and net selling topped in RHL at Rs. 34 million.
First Capital said the bourse retreated back to the red territory in the wake of surging market overheating which arose despite recording a turnover at a healthy level. Index showcased a significant upswing as soon as the market opened and spiked to an intraday high of 11,072 while gaining 143 points. Eventually, a selling spree emerged, dragging the index down till the last minute and closing for the day at 10,910, losing 19 points. Turnover of Rs. 7.6 billion was led by a joint contribution of 60% from the Food, Beverage & Tobacco and the Capital Goods sectors.
NDB Securities said the ASPI closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as Commercial Leasing & Finance, Lanka Orix Finance and Expolanka Holdings.
It said the high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Renuka Holdings and Kelani Valley Plantations. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Sunshine Holdings and LOLC Holdings whilst retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Watawala Plantations and Richard Pieris & Company.
The Food, Beverage & Tobacco sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Browns Investments, Sunshine Holdings and Agalawatte Plantations) whilst the sector index gained 1.60%. The share price of Browns Investments increased by Rs. 0.40 (3.48%) to close at Rs. 11.90. The share price of Sunshine Holdings moved up by Rs. 4 (11.17%) to close at Rs. 39.80. The share price of Agalawatte Plantations appreciated by Rs. 9.50 (23.63%) to close at Rs. 49.70.
The Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover whilst the sector index increased by 1.10%.
LOLC Holdings and Expolanka Holdings were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of LOLC Holdings gained Rs. 21 (2.35%) to close at Rs. 915.25. The share price of Expolanka Holdings recorded a loss of Rs. 4.75 (2.04%) to close at Rs. 227.75.