Friday, April 27, 2012

Bourse ends on a mixed note

The indices of the Colombo stock market yesterday closed on a mixed note, amidst some volatility experienced during the day.

 The ASPI closed five points up at 5,445 and Milanka remained in the red throughout the day, closing 26 points below at 4,860.

“The liquid blue chips Commercial Bank of Ceylon and John Keells Holdings led the decline of the MPI, while the gains in the illiquid dividend play counters Nestlé and Ceylon Tobacco kept the ASPI on positive territory,” Arrenga Capital said.

 It said the sole crossing for the day registered in Softlogic Holdings, the diversified conglomerate, was of 2.5 million shares being dealt with at Rs. 12.5 (5% premium to the previous closing price).

The rest of the trading for the counter which was on-board was weak, with only 42,000 shares changing hands as the counter closed at Rs. 11.8 (-0.9%).

 The Diversified sector emerged as the highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Carsons Cumberbatch, Softlogic Holdings and John Keells Holdings) and the sector index declined by 0.09%.

The share price of Carsons Cumberbatch appreciated by Rs. 14.90 (3.24%), to close at Rs. 475.

 Interest in the John Keells Group companies was observed, with Keells Hotels recording the top turnover in the market. The counter recorded four large blocks ranging from 600,000 to 1.2 million shares changing hands on-board at a similar price of Rs. 13. The counter recorded a marginal gain as it closed at Rs. 13.1 (+4.0%).

 John Keells Holdings maintained investor interest, though on a lower note, with 141,000 shares trading. The counter has been witnessing some selling pressure in the last few days as it has been gradually losing ground this week with a -0.9% decline to Rs. 203.5.

 With dividends round the corner, interest in Nestlé and Ceylon Tobacco has been strong. Due to the sharp price appreciations the counters are currently trading at high valuations, although the price hikes have been on low volumes. The former hit another 52-week high yesterday at Rs. 1,296 as both closed with gains of 5.4% and 2.3% respectively.

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