The Colombo stock market saw improved investor activity in terms of turnover, but sentiments remained bearish as both indices closed negative for yet another session, though in a welcome sign, there was net foreign buying.
The All Share Price Index dipped by 1.5% or 143 points, whilst the S&P SL20 declined by 1.75% or over 62 points, marking the sharpest contraction in recent days. Turnover however improved from Tuesday to Rs. 3.4 billion involving 147 million shares.
Asia Securities said the ASPI closed in red for the third consecutive session as a result of price declines in index-heavy counters.
“Earlier, the index commenced trading on a negative note, declining to 9,486 (-154 points) before showcasing a 69-point recovery in mid-afternoon trade. However, the ASPI dipped again during closing hours and eventually settled at an eight-session low while the more liquid S&P SL20 closed at a two-week low,” Asia added.
It said price declines in LOLC, EXPO, CLC, and BIL weighed on the ASPI and dented the market momentum throughout the session.
“Market breadth remained negative as 162 stocks ended lower against 29 price gainers,” it added.
Asia also said foreigners recorded a net inflow of Rs. 18.5 million while their participation declined to 1.0% of turnover (previous day 1.5%). Estimated net foreign buying topped in SAMP.N at Rs. 16.2 million and net selling topped in CTC at Rs. 9.3 million.
First Capital said the bourse closed in the red zone for the third consecutive session as the market has taken over a bearish sentiment.
“Index set off on a downswing as the market commenced and plunged steeply within the first half hour, hitting an intraday low of 9,483. Thereafter, the market displayed a slight recovery and moved on a sideways drift followed by a downtrend during the latter part of the session owing to an intensifying selling spree and closed for the day at 9,498; losing,” First Capital added.
It said turnover was led by a joint contribution of 47% from the Food, Beverage and Tobacco sectors and Bank sector.
NDB Securities said the ASPI closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as LOLC Holdings, Expolanka Holdings and Commercial Leasing & Finance.
It said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Hatton National Bank, Commercial Bank and Watawala Plantations. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, LOLC Holdings and Royal Ceramics, whilst retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, SMB Leasing non-voting and Industrial Asphalts.
The Food, Beverage and Tobacco sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Browns Investments and Watawala Plantations), whilst the sector index lost 0.98%. The share price of Browns Investments decreased by 30 cents (2.83%) to close at Rs. 10.30. The share price of Watawala Plantations declined by 10 cents (0.18%) to close at Rs. 57.
The Banking sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank), whilst the sector index decreased by 1.14%. The share price of Hatton National Bank closed flat at Rs. 149. The share price of Commercial Bank recorded a loss of Rs. 2.90 (3.27%) to close at Rs. 85.70.
Expolanka Holdings was also included amongst the top turnover contributors with its share price losing Rs. 3.50 (1.83%) to close at Rs. 188.