By Hiran H. Senewiratne
The CSE started off sharply lower amid lackluster investor activity yesterday due to selling pressure on some stocks, but over the latter part of the day started to rally on the back of earnings positive quarterly earnings reported in many companies despite the turbulent economic situation in recent months, equity analysts said.
Both indexes were down more than 2.5%, while turnover was reported below the rupees. 1 billion level, involving 831 million actions. Despite local pessimism, foreigners remained net buyers, according to market analysts. However, the average turnover level during the year was Rs 3.5 billion.
The indices are said to have closed sharply lower due to widespread selling pressure. The ASPI fell 25.7 points and the S&P SL20 index fell 26.6 points. The turnover stood at Rs 831 million with two crossings. The crossing was reported to Renuka Hotel which crossed one million shares at Rs 69 million and its shares traded at Rs 69 and Expolanka Holdings 250,000 shares crossed at Rs 22.5 million; its shares traded at Rs 150.
In the retail market, the top seven companies that primarily contributed to revenue were; JKH Rs 89.7 million (665,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 60.2 million (391,000 shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 51.3 million (305,000 shares traded), Tokyo Cement (non-voting) Rs 49.3 million (1.7 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 32.2 million (449,000 shares traded), Nestlé Rs 32 million (34,000 shares traded) and Browns Investments Rs 25.6 million (4. 4 million shares traded). During the day, 39.2 million volumes of shares changed hands in 14,000 transactions.
It is said that high net worth and involvement of institutional investors have been noted in Renuka Holdings. Mixed interest was seen from Expolanka Holdings, Lanka IOC and JKH, while retail interest was noted from Browns Investments, LOLC Finance and Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons.
The capital goods sector was the largest contributor to market revenue (thanks to JKH, ACL Cables and Renuka Holdings) while the sector index lost 1.23%. JKH’s share price rose by Rs. 3.50 (2.71%) to close at Rs. 132.50. ACL Cables’ share price recorded a loss of Rs. 6.90 (8.77%) to close at Rs. 71.80. Renuka Holdings’ share price fell 70 cents (4.52%) to close at Rs. 2:80 p.m.
The transportation sector was the second largest contributor to market revenue (due to Expolanka Holdings) while the sector index fell by 7.38%. Expolanka Holdings’ share price declined by Rs. 12.25 (7.39%) to close at Rs. 153.50.
Lanka IOC was also among the top revenue contributors. Lanka IOC’s share price fell Rs. 10.50 (5.81%) to close at Rs. 170.25.
Yesterday, the Central Bank announced that the buying price in US dollars was Rs 360.96 and the selling price was Rs 371.79. The inflation rate was 73.70%.