The Colombo stock market sustained its positive sentiment though turnover remained below recent average for the second consecutive day.
The more active S&P SL20 index gained by 1% or 34 points and the benchmark All Share Price Index improved by 0.5% or 42 points. Turnover was Rs. 2 billion, lower compared to Wednesday’s Rs. 2.5 billion but volume improved to 100 million shares from 88.7 million shares on Wednesday.
Former top stock John Keells Holdings (JKH) maintained its recent uptick with share price gaining by 2% to Rs. 134.25 though on thin volume. Most valued and profitable Expolanka led contribution to index gain as well as in turnover.
Asia Securities said the indices closed on a positive note for the second consecutive session mainly on price gains in EXPO, while other heavyweight stocks such as JKH, HAYL, and MELS also moved higher during the session indicating some positive bias in the market.
“The ASPI commenced trading with a 70-point gap up and reached an intra-day high of 8,879 (+91 points) during early hours as investors were seen entering in selected heavyweight stocks capitalising on the recent dip in prices. However, the ASPI gradually declined and stabilised within the range of 8,825-8,850 in the second half of the session,” Asia added.
It also said turnover remained at moderate levels supported by activity in EXPO as the stock continued to recoup some of its recent losses on the back of healthy HNI and retail buying.
“Market breadth turned stronger with gainers outnumbering decliners 106 to 82,” Asia added.
It said foreigners recorded a net outflow of Rs. 32.2 million while their participation declined to 2.3% of turnover (previous day 21.9%). Net foreign buying topped in HNB at Rs. 8.7 million while net foreign selling topped in JKH at Rs. 19.7 million.
First Capital said the bourse managed to remain in the green zone while trading positively throughout the session, despite recording a low turnover.
“In the beginning, index gained 93 points and hit an intraday high of 8,881 and seesawed the rest of the session. Despite the subsequent dip in the index during the second half of the session, the index managed to hold the grip of an uptrend as investors regained their confidence back and slightly took sideways before closing at 8,830,” First Capital added.
It said turnover was led by the Transportation sector, followed by the Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector, accounting for a joint contribution of 60%.
NDB Securities said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Union Bank of Colombo and Royal Ceramics. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Melstacorp and John Keells Holdings, whilst retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Kotagala Plantations and SMB Leasing non-voting.
It said the Transportation sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Expolanka Holdings), whilst the sector index gained 2.83%. The share price of Expolanka Holdings increased by Rs. 4.75 (2.85%) to close at Rs. 171.50.
Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Browns Investments, Melstacorp and Kotagala Plantations), whilst the sector index increased by 0.35%. The share price of Browns Investments gained 10 cents (1.11%) to close at Rs. 9.10. The share price of Melstacorp moved up by Rs. 1.50 (2.80%) to close at Rs. 55. The share price of Kotagala Plantations appreciated by 90 cents (17.65%) to close at Rs. 6.
Royal Ceramics was also included amongst the top turnover contributors though the share price dipped by 10 cents to close at Rs. 41.50.