Morning market sprint, following the media release on SEC’s decision to extend the broker credit period from T+30 up to T+120, could not last long as selling pressure returned during the latter hours of trading. The broader index touched a high of 4,896.9 (up 24.8 points), before closing broadly flat at 4,867.5. The S & P SL20 index continued to shed with losses made predominantly in Sri Lanka Telecom (-2.1%), Hatton National Bank (-1.39%), Nestle Lanka (-1.54%) and John Keells Holdings (-0.28%). Activity levels remained mild with turnover reading LKR299.1 mn.
Interest persisted in Central Finance following the recent active foreign investor play in the counter. It proceeded to register a further block of 575k shares being crossed off at LKR135.0, spearheading the turnover list. The counter trading at its book value closed flat LKR127.5, after touching a high of LKR130.0. Selling pressure extended in heavyweight, John Keells Holdings, as the counter saw several large trades being handled in the market. The counter closed at LKR179.7 with a marginal 0.3% dip. Another index heavy, Carsons Cumberbatch continued to remain active despite moving on thin volumes.
Retail & high net worth participation stayed in Laughs Gas [Non – Voting] as the counter appreciated by further 7% to close at LKR15.0. Meanwhile some reactivation of speculative play in HVA Foods was visible during morning hours pushing the counter touch a high of LKR12.3 (up 12.8%) before closing with a gain of 5.5% at LKR11.6.
Substantial buying interest was evident in Aitken Spence as the counter saw several large trades on board, yet closed with a slight dip at LKR114.8. Similar interest was also seen in Free Lanka Capital Holdings as the counter advanced by 5.9% at its close of LKR1.7. Renewed investor play was witnessed in both Hotel Sigiriya and Haycarb. Related companies; Vallibel One, Royal Ceramics & Sampath Bank continued to be active whilst accumulation was seen in Expolanka Holdings.