Friday, January 4, 2013

Retailers back at Bourse, ASI crosses 5,700 points level

The Colombo stock market continued with its positivism in the New Year, as indices gained with the welcome return of retailers.

“The market extended its stride in the green, with positive sentiments stemming from the revival in retail activity,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

The ASPI crossed the 5,700 mark while its positive sprint led the index to a peak at 5,738.84 points (+55 points), before settling at 5,730.45 (+46 points), the highest since 12 October 2012. Turnover amounted to Rs. 518 million, whilst foreigners were net sellers to the tune of Rs. 105 million.

 Two counters gained for every one that dipped, denoting major contributions from Ceylon Tobacco Company (+1.0%), People’s Leasing and Finance (+6.1%), and NDB Capital Holdings (+5.6%).

 The S&P SL20 index secured a 13 point gain at 3,104.25 points, the highest since 10 October 2012.

 Banking sector player Hatton National Bank emerged to spearhead the day’s turnover list during mid-day trading on the back of a single block of around 117,000 shares, which was handled in the market at Rs. 147. Following the on-board block were three crossings amounting to 644,000 shares, which were transacted at a similar price.

 Interest in heavyweight John Keells Holdings led the counter to touch a peak of Rs. 220 at which it encountered two off-board blocks, totaling 200,000 shares during the final trading hour.

Interest in People’s Leasing and Finance and its subsidiary, People’s Finance, heaved up as each advanced a solid 7.6% and 5.0% at their intra-day high levels, while the latter touched a new 52-week high at Rs. 37.1, supported by strong buying interest.

 The retail hunt surfaced as Nation Lanka Finance (-1.8%) secured its stance in the top turnover slot while some selling pressure was witnessed in Asia Asset Finance (+0.0%) and Central Investment and Finance Company (-2.0%) following yesterday’s rally.

 Swarnamahal Financial Services witnessed several mid-sized parcels accumulating to around 545k shares being taken in the market as it closed the day with a 12.2% gain at Rs. 3.7. Further, penny stocks Sierra Cables and Free Lanka Capital Holdings too gathered some retail participation.

 Colombo Dockyard witnessed renewed buying interest, having recorded a few trades at its peak of Rs. 230 (+4.5%). Interest emerged in S&P calibre counters, Asian Hotels and Properties and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, with both depicting some focus during early trading, denoting gains of 1.7% and 2.7% at their respective peaks of Rs. 76.4 and Rs. 75.0.

 Gains in Ceylon Tobacco Company extended on thin volumes, leading the counter to renew its 52-week high at Rs. 849.5 (+2.1%) while The Lion Brewery of Ceylon touched a 52-week peak at Rs. 296 (+3.8%).

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