Volumes down but CSE closes week on positive note

Although the bourse closed the week on a positive note with retailers continuing to drive the market, volumes were down, brokers said.

Turnover of Rs.787.3 million was down from the previous day’s 856.3 million while both indices gained – the All Share by 25.61 points (0.68%) and the Milanka by 7.26 points (0.17%) with 88 advancers strongly outpacing 40 decliners.

"Although volumes were down and turnover dipped below the billion rupee mark for three days this week, the market closed with half day’s trading on a positive note," Prashan Fernando of Acuity Stockbrokers said.

Aitken Spence was the major business generator with an unusually large quantity of slightly over 0.1 million shares traded at Rs.1,300 each losing a rupee to close at that level generating the day’s top turnover of Rs.146.5 million. Brokers said that two crossings at the Rs.1,300 price were among five trades in Spence.

NDB finished second in turnover rankings with nearly 0.3 million shares done between Rs.220 and Rs.223.25 gaining Rs.2.50 to close at Rs.222 contributing Rs.58.9 million to turnover while Nawaloka Hospitals saw a hefty 14.3 million shares done gaining 20 cents to close at Rs.3.80 on a trading range of Rs.3.60 to Rs.3.90. Brokers said there was a lot of retail interest in this counter.

Environment Resources Investments (ERI) (Walker & Greig), both the share and warrants, continued to be traded in some quantity with both the share and warrants edging down from the previous close.

The ERI share closed Rs.2.75 down at Rs.245 trading between Rs.242.25 and Rs.259.50 while the warrants both maturities closed 50 cents down, the 2011 warrant at Rs.160 on 0.2 million traded and the 2010 warrant at Rs.159.75 on nearly 0.2 million done.

Other counters that demonstrated volume and price gains included Lion, up Rs.4.75 to close at Rs.91.75 on nearly 0.3 million shares, Dockyard, up Rs.1.25 to Rs.317 on 78,300 shares, Overseas Realty, up 25 cents to close at Rs.16.75 on over 1.2 million shares and Seylan Merchant Bank, up 25 cents to close at Rs.215.75 on nearly 1.3 million shares.

Dimo gained a hefty Rs.78.50 to close at Rs.495 on 28,700 shares traded between Rs.386 and Rs.505 while Taj Lanka was up Rs.2.25 to close at Rs.34 on nearly 0.4 million shares.

Other gainers yesterday included JKH, up 50 cents to close at Rs.169, Richard Pieris, up a rupee to close at Rs.65.75 and Keells Hotels, up 25 cents to close at Rs.30.50.

Lanka Tiles announced an interim dividend of Rs. 1.25 a share XD from Mar. 9 and with payment on Mar. 11.

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