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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2680

Blue Chips boost turnover while market fluctuated in a narrow range

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly review indicated that the Colombo Bourse continued to hold ground with stocks fluctuating in a narrow range throughout most part of the week, but closed slightly higher at week’s close on Friday. The All Share Price Index (ASPI) made modest gains of 20.1 points or 0.82 percent to close at 2453.6 points while the liquid Milanka Price Index (MPI) shed 1.8 points or 0.06 percent to stand at 3123.4 points at week’s close.

Dialog edged out in terms of market activity this week, demonstrating a total value of closer to Rs.200 million, reflecting 18.8 percent of total weekly turnover. The counter also traded the highest number of shares of 10.9 million shares closing flat, at Rs.18.5 per share. During the week Dialog share reached a peak price of Rs.18.75 and a low of Rs.18. Majority 91 percent of Dialog turnover arose on Thursday with two foreign crossings taking place.

Retained investor interest on the high cap counter JKH drove up market turnover levels by Rs.150.5 million to stand as the 2nd largest contributed stock for the week. JKH share having fluctuated within a price range of Rs.120 and Rs.123 was down marginally by Rs.3.25 or 2.64 percent at Rs.120 with over 1.25 million shares being traded over the week.

Ranking in the 3rd place for this week was Distilleries with a total contribution amounting to Rs.66.5 million. While trading within the price band of Rs.93.75 & Rs.96 per share Distilleries ended up gaining 0.26 percent on WoW at Rs.95 per share, with a total volume of 0.7 million shares traded during the week.

Dockyard saw its price appreciate by an impressive 17 percent on Friday to close the week at Rs.61.75 per share. Approximately 0.9 million of Dockyard shares traded for the week adding up Rs.52.8 million to the turnover, of which the most part came on Friday.

Overall trading levels picked up this week, boosted by notable improvement on activity levels towards the latter part of the week with nearly 64.2 percent of turnover being generated during the last two trading days of the week. Total turnover for the week stood at a satisfactory Rs.1.06 billion as against Rs.0.46 billion, recorded last week, which consisted of 4 trading days only. Average daily turnover meanwhile stood at Rs.212.9 million, witnessing an 82.9 percent increase
on WoW basis.

Foreign participation for the week was high at 47.3 percent of total activity this week compared to 26.2 percent recorded last week, aided primarily by the foreign deals on Dialog. Foreign purchases stood at Rs.547.5 million, while foreign sales stood at Rs.459.2 million. The resultant net outflow amounted to Rs.88.3 million.

The highest traded stocks for the week were Dialog, Vallibel, Lanka Cement and Nations Trust.

Meanwhile HNB Stockbrokers in their point of view indicated that the market gained by a noteworthy 20 points during the week on improved activity levels as a result of higher retail trading. In the coming week we expect indices to remain volatile within
a narrow range. Furthermore they believe the corporate earnings reports to be released would create interest on certain selected stocks giving more trading opportunities to the investors.

Economic Update

Inflation rise as food prices jump in January

Inflation that took a little bit of a breather during last month jumped again in January backed by higher food prices. Inflation measured by Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) stood at 21.6 percent Year on Year (YoY) while the annual average inflation stood at 17.6 percent. The rise in CCPI during the month of January 2008 stood at 5.8 percent compared to December 2007 in the back of short supply of consumer goods such as Rice, Vegetables, Coconuts and
the increase in price of wheat flour.

Meanwhile despite the increase in prices of fuel during the time period under review the increase in fuel and light index was marginal. Going forward HNB Stockbrokers expect the inflation to remain high in the coming months unless they see a significant drop in key food items such as rice, bread and coconuts. According to their projections the annual average inflation stands higher at 17.9 percent in February while the point-to- point inflation is expected to stand at 22.1percent.

- Asian Tribune -

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