* foreign outflow Rs. 38.8mn
The Colombo Stock Exchange rose sharply during early trading on Monday but the trend could not be sustained as concerns over the widening trade deficit and weakening rupee continued to dampen investor activity, brokers said.
However, the All Share Price Index was able to record a marginal to close at 4,811.44 points, 0.27 percent while the Milanka Price Index of more liquid stocks closed 0.41 percent higher at 4,264.38 points. Year-to-date, the Colombo bourse has fallen 20.8 percent.
Turnover amounted to Rs. 153.4 million on a volume of 12 million shares.
The exchange recorded a net foreign out flow of Rs. 38.8 million during the day.
"Market continued to experience a mild recovery as both the ASPI and Milanka shot up to an intra-day high of c.4,831 and c.4,299 points respectively during the early trading hours. Although the sharp morning climb was unsustainable, the bourse closed in the green for the third consecutive day on marginal gains," Arrenga Capital Research said in a report.
"High index players John Keells Holdings, Bukit Darah, Hatton National Bank andCeylon Guardian Investment Trust supported the market’s stay in the green.
"Bargain hunting continued, with accumulation visible in fundamentally sound counters supported by strong valuations; however, volume remained low whilst turnover read LKR153.4 mn for the day. Concerns over Sri Lanka’s widening trade deficit and weakening rupee amid the dreary global economic conditions continue to dampen investor activity," it said.
"Conglomerate John Keells Holdings topped the turnover list as accumulation continued in the counter; the share advanced 0.7% to LKR180.0. Carsons Cumberbatch also saw active participation today with a total of 43.0k shares being traded whilst Bukit Darah advanced 2.8% on 12 trades, closing at LKR740.0. Following last week’s reactivated interest in Lanka Tile, interest in Lanka Walltilesalso resurfaced as the counter recorded a 100k parcel changing hands at LKR52.5 on board. The counters gained 1.6% and 0.4% respectively. Ultimate parent, Ceylon Theatres also advanced 2.1% to LKR143.0 after releasing a 40% YoY growth in earnings for FY12.
"Renuka Agri Foods, a counter sought after recently, also continued to see buying interest with a few large deals taking place on board including two quantities totalling to 317k shares taken up at LKR4.5. Of the banking and finance sector; Pan Asia Bank (+3.6%), Lanka Orix Leasing Company (+2.0%) and Sampath Bank (0.3%) also edged up despite on thin volumes.
"Waskaduwa Beach Resort also recorded an on board deal where 349.3k shares were seen transacted at LKR6.0 whilst Environmental Resources Investments andPanasian Power were favoured by retail players," Arrenga Capital Research said.
In its market update Bartleet Religare Securities said, "After hitting a low of 4,725 on 6th June the markets managed to stabilize and have moved in a sideways to positive fashion. Markets are likely to trade in a ranging environment for some time before it takes any clear direction. The likely range for the markets is 4,725 on the downside and 4,900 on the upside for the next few days. The index is currently trading above the 30 and 50 half hourly simple moving averages".