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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2732

Indices volatile as investors speculate on 1st quarter earnings

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly review indicated that the stocks during the week traded within a narrow price range closing slightly higher WoW. The stocks got off to a modest start on Monday led by SLT and Carsons, and remained slightly lower during rest of the week.

Expectations of poor 1st quarter earnings by the plantation companies dragged down the indices since the release of 1st quarter earnings of Agalawatte and Horana plantation companies. Overall the two indices closed in opposite direction with the All Share price Index (ASPI) ending up 5.5 points or 0.21 percent at 2641.2 points and the more liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) closing down 10.6 points or 0.33 percent at 3224.7 points.

Topping in terms of market activity and volume trade this week, was Commercial Leasing, with a total contribution of Rs.1.1 billion. Lanka Orix Leasing’s purchased 67 percent stake in Commercial Leasing that was previously held by Chemanex (36.7 percent) and Commercial Bank (30 percent), on Friday. During the week almost 12 million shares of Commercial Leasing were traded while the share price dipped 5.9 percent to close at Rs.95 per share.

The high cap Distilleries too managed to grab investor attention this week trading close to 0.9 million of its shares, with the share price fluctuating in the range of Rs.107.00 & Rs.110.25, generating a turnover of Rs.101million for the week. The stock gained 2.6 percent WoW to close at Rs.109.75 per share at week’s close.

Ranked, as 3rd largest contributor was another high cap stock JKH. Around 0.65 million JKH shares traded during the week, contributing approximately Rs.76 million to weekly market turnover. Counter traded between a high of Rs.118.5 and a low of Rs.115.5, before closing at Rs.117.5 on Friday, witnessing a Rs.1.00 or a 0.86 percent price appreciation over the week.

Investor interest on Hotel Corporation shares enabled it to record a turnover of Rs.67.5 million, however the share price dropped by 3.6 percent WoW. The share closed at Rs.26.75 per share after peaking at Rs.30.25 during the week. Total volume traded by the counter during the week amounted to 2.32 million shares.

Turnover for this week was significantly higher than what was witnessed last week standing at Rs.2.4 billion. Average daily turnover for this week stood at Rs.478 million, showing a 141 percent growth compared to last week. The strategic deal that took place on Friday, helped activity levels to surpass the Rs.2 billion mark this week.

Foreign investors remained net buyers for the week amounting to Rs.80.3 million. Foreign purchases for the week stood at Rs.306.2 million, while foreign sales totaled to Rs.225.9 million. The foreign participation for the week was 11 percent of total activity moderately lower than 29.3 percent recorded last week.

Most heavily traded stocks during the week were Commercial Leasing, Tess Agro, Fortress Resorts and Sierra Cables.

Meanwhile in their point of view HNB Stockbrokers indicated that market edged up marginally during the week on relatively thin volumes. Overall the All Share Price Index (ASPI) increased by 5.5 points during the week while the sensitive Milanka Price Index (MPI) declined marginally by 10.6 points compared to last week’s closing levels.

In the week ahead HNB Stockbrokers expect the market to remain volatile as the corporate earnings released so far gave mixed signals. Furthermore the activity levels are likely to remain somewhat low around Rs.300 million on a daily average basis. However we feel that the trading opportunities would continue to exist in the market place thus we advise investors carefully capitalize on these trading opportunities.

- Asian Tribune -

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