Shares slump for sixth straight session; lowest closing level in six months

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Retail investor participation seems to be poor at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) but there are a few high net-worth transfers in the market due to poor economic performance and unstable currency fluctuations, analysts said.A weaker rupee, political uncertainty and the recent fuel price hike weighed on sentiment in the past week with local retail investors remaining on the sidelines as they gauged the impact of the floods of last month, But there are very few big player transfers of stocks happening in the market at a very slow pace, brokers said.

The Sri Lankan rupee slipped to a fresh all-time low of 160 per dollar on Monday, pulled down by a lack of support for the local currency from exporters.

Amid those developments shares fell for a sixth straight session yesterday to hit one of their lowest closing levels in nearly six months and both indices indicated slumps, ie, the All Share Price Index by 9.44 points and S and P SL20 by 5.91 points. The day's turnover stood at Rs. 459.8 million with two crossings.

Those crossings were Commercial Bank 722,000 shares crossed for Rs. 92.4 million, per share value Rs. 128, Sampath Bank 96,000 shares crossed for Rs. 30.2 million, per share value Rs. 313.90.

In the retail market companies that mainly contributed to the day's turnover were; Commercial Bank Rs. 179.8 million (1.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 17.5 million (112,000 shares traded) and HNB Rs. 14.1 million (58,500 shares traded). During the day 9.7 million share volumes changed hands in 2220 transactions.   

The market is bottoming out and we have seen the index has been almost flat in the last two days. We expect it to bounce back once investors see any positive news," market analysts said..

Meanwhile, JKSB reports -

ASPI: 6,337.88 (-10.65 pts; -0.17%); Val T/O: Rs. 460mn (US$2.89mn); Vol T/O: 9.7mn; Trades: 2,220

Advance/decline ratio: 67/90; Top gainer: LPRT.N (+24.92%) ; Top loser: SEMB.N (-16.67%)


• The ASPI ended lower amid subdued turnover levels. COMB, SAMP, and JKH led market activity including crossings with trading in COMB amounting to 59% of total turnover.

• Banks, Finance, & Insurance was the most actively traded sector (-0.34%)

• Stores & Supplies was the best performing sector (+5.79%), supported by gains on EBCR (+16.67%)

• Power & Energy was the worst performing sector (-1.45%), dragged down by declines on LGL (-4.18%)

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