Stock market sustains new found optimism; foreigners exit

Thursday, 25 May 2023 03:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Colombo stock market yesterday sustained its new found optimism with both indices gaining over 1% amidst improved turnover.

The active S&P SL20 gained by 1.95% and the benchmark ASPI by 1.4%. Turnover was Rs. 940.5 millio involving 42.7 million shares.

However for the second consecutive day foreigners were net sellers.  Asia Securities said following a period of tepid market performance, the marked a notable upturn as the indices recorded their biggest single-day gains in over two months with investors snapping up front-line stocks at bargain prices, capitalising on the recent market downturn.

 LIOC (+3.1%), GLAS (+1.5%), EXPO (+5.5%), VONE (+6.3%), ACL (+6.2%), and AGST (+7.9%) saw significant pick-up in prices on domestic buying support. Importantly, banking sector stocks saw steady buying for a second session with COMBX (+6.3%), COMBN (+2.8%), NTBN (+3.8%), HNBX (+3.5%), and NDBN (+1.9%) leading the way. However, SAMP (-1.6%) closed in red in an otherwise positive session.

VONE (+21 points) ended as the biggest index mover, followed by EXPO (+13 points), and COMBN (+12 points). The breadth of the market ended positive with 132 price gainers and 37 decliners.

Turnover was led by LIOC (Rs. 167mn), HNBN (Rs. 151mn), and GLAS (Rs. 79mn). 

Foreigners recorded a net outflow of Rs. 121.3mn. Net foreign buying topped in CCS.N at Rs. 46.8mn and selling topped in HNB.N at Rs. 149.8mn.

First Capital said continuing the positive momentum of the last session, the bourse rebounded sharply, recording the largest intraday gain of 120 points in 2 ½ months. Index moved on a steady uptrend throughout yesterday’s session with investor participation predominantly centered on index heavyweights which were battered down during the previous weeks. 

Activities were enticed on selected banking sector counters (mainly HNB) amidst thin volumes as concerns on DDO mounted among market participants. However, with the positive upturn in market activities index gained sharply by 120 points and closed at 8,755 led by the positive contribution from VONE, EXPO and COMB. 

NDB Securities said the ASPI closed in green as a result of price gains in counters such as Vallibel One, Expolanka Holdings and Commercial Bank.

High net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in PGP Glass Ceylon, Lanka IOC and Windforce Limited. Mixed interest was observed in Hatton National Bank, Expolanka Holdings and Ceylon Cold Stores whilst retail interest was noted in Industrial Asphalts, Browns Investments and Access Engineering. 

The Banking sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Hatton National Bank) whilst the sector index gained 1.15%. The share price of Hatton National Bank closed flat at Rs 120.

The Energy sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC) whilst the sector index increased by 3.37%. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs 4 to Rs 134.

PGP Glass Ceylon, Expolanka Holdings and Ceylon Cold Stores were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of PGP Glass Ceylon moved up by 30 cents to Rs 20.10. 

The share price of Expolanka Holdings recorded a gain of Rs 7.50 (5.51%) to Rs 143.50. The share price of Ceylon Cold Stores declined by 60 cents to Rs 38.40.