The market settled into a narrow trading range as the week progressed. Nevertheless the activity levels continued to remain strong with high interest seen on banking sector stocks.
Comparing Week on Week (WoW) the ASPI (All Share Price Index) rose by 16.6 points or 0.5% to close at 3131.9 points, while the MPI (Milanka Price Index) improved by a higher 42.7 points or 1.2% to close at 3546.9 points.
A 7.3 million quantity of banking sector counter, HNB, traded during the week with larger chunks being traded during the early part of the week, which were reportedly sold by Browns’ Group. On Monday the counter contributed Rs.866.0 million, towards the day’s turnover with a total of 5.0 million shares trading on the back of renewed foreign interest.
During the week, HNB was seen trading between a range of Rs.169.75 and Rs.175.00 per share to close at Rs.170.00 per share on Friday while contributing Rs.1.3 billion towards weekly turnover which led to the counter becoming the highest contributor towards this week.
Market heavyweight JKH also contributed notably towards weekly turnover even though the volumes traded remained slightly lower compared to last week. On Thursday, 1.4 million of 2.6 million shares traded for the week wre done.
During the week JKH traded within a price range of Rs.153.00 and Rs.155.00 per share. The contribution towards weekly turnover amounted to Rs.400.9 million, but the share closed 0.5% lower compared to last week at Rs.170.00 per share.
Attention was drawn towards banking counters this week, as trades in HNB, Commercial Bank (COMB), DFCC, Seylan Bank (Non Voting), Pan Asia and Nations Trust came within the top 10 contributors for the week.
The week saw 2.0 million COMB shares trading, with the contribution towards turnover amounting to Rs.358.7 million while WoW the share closed 5.6% higher at Rs.190.25 per share.
DFCC, which became the fifth largest contributor, injected Rs.344.8 million while trading a total of 2.2 million shares. Similarly, DFCC share too showed an improvement this week, closing 7.4% higher WoW at Rs.164.25 per share on Friday.
Among the other counters which saw interest during the week were Browns amidst the speculation over the sale of HNB shares held by the company. During the week 2.2 million Browns shares traded with its share price showing an 8.4% increase WoW to close at Rs.84.00 per share. Contribution towards weekly turnover from the counter amounted to Rs.347.7 million.
Activity levels remained high during the week, with total turnover amounting to Rs.6.4 billion, higher than the Rs.5.6 billion posted last week. The average daily turnover stood at Rs.1.3 billion, showing a growth of 15.6% WoW.
Foreign participation too was slightly higher at 26.0% of total activity, as HNB (the highest turnover generator) was largely purchased by foreign buyers.
Foreign purchases totaled to Rs.2.2 billion and foreign sales amounted to Rs.1.3 billion, resulting in strong net foreign inflows of Rs.1.1 billion.
Amongst the heavily traded stocks this week were, Tess Agro, Seylan Bank (Non Voting), Piramal Glass, Sierra Cables and Dialog.