The Colombo stock market gathered more momentum yesterday as the benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) returned to 7,000 points level, last witnessed in October 2010.
The crossing of 7,000 point level was after a relatively low 0.32 percent or 22.14 points gain to close at 7,014.85. The ASPI is trailing its highest ever closing level of 7,147 achieved on 1 October. The intra-day highest was 7,207.75 clocked on 4 October.
Yesterday’s gain pushed the year to date increase of ASPI to 5.71% whilst the market has gained 6% in the last nine sessions.
Turnover also reached highest for the year at Rs. 5.6 billion which incidentally is also much higher than the 2010 daily average of Rs. 2.4 billion.
The bull run however is midst net foreign selling but sentiments remain strong on account of strong local play especially by retailers and select high networth individual investors along with institutions.
Power & Energy and Bank, Finance & Insurance sectors were the highest contributors to the market turnover while both indices increased by 5.46% and 0.36% respectively.
Distilleries also contributed Rs. 381 million overall to the market turnover with four crossings of 1,662,633 shares at Rs. 178. However, share price decreased by Rs. 0.90 (0.50%) and closed at Rs 180.80.
Among other crossings were 571,000 shares of Ceylinco Insurance (Non-voting) at Rs. 300, 345,500 shares of John Keells Holdings at Rs. 295; 500,000 shares of Lion Brewery at Rs. 190 and 75,000 shares of HNB Bank at Rs. 400.
Whilst Watapota continued to gain to close at Rs. 3000, up by 34% or Rs. 760 from Tuesday’s massive rise of Rs. 180% to Rs. 2,240, demand was also evident for Dimo, Asian Alliance and Hemas Power as they figured in the top gainers list percentage wise. Price band victim PC House also gained crossing the Rs. 20 mark to close at Rs. 21.20, up by Rs. 1.90. Environmental Resources Investments also saw fresh demand with its share price up Rs. 5.70 to close at Rs. 103.80, a level it hadn’t seen for several months.
Recent highflyers Citrus Leisure warrants figured in the top losers whilst the main stock lost Rs. 2.50 to close at Rs. 87.50.
Reuters said Colombo bourse is trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 17.9, the highest among emerging markets, compared with 13.2 in Asian markets and 12.2 in global emerging markets, Thomson Reuters StarMine data showed. Its 14-day relative strength index is at 82.1, beyond the overbought limit of 70.
It also said foreign investors were net sellers for the 10th session in a row with 511 million rupees on Tuesday, extending the net outflow to Rs. 1.9 billion this year. They sold Rs. 26.4 billion last year.
Meanwhile the rupee gained to 110.76/79 a dollar, its highest since 11 December, 2008, from Tuesday’s 110.82/85 on exporter selling and the central bank reducing the dollar trading band to 110.75/111.35 from 110.80/111.45, currency dealers said.