The All Share Price Index edged down a marginal 2.89 points (0.06%) but the Milanka was down 21.45 points (0.50%) while the S&P Index gained 8.26 points (0.30%).
Brokers said that there was considerable retail activity in stocks like HVA (4.3 million shares), Asia Asset Finance (nearly 7.4 million shares), Expo (over 3.1 million shares) and Laugfs non-voting (0.6 million shares).
While there were no block trades, they said the indices would have gone down further but for some sharp price gains in high priced stocks like Ceylon Tobacco (up Rs.15) to close at Rs.675 and Nestle.
"The indices edged slightly lower, with subdued activity levels dominated by HVA and CTC which collectively accounted for over 30% of total turnover," John Keells Stock Brokers said in a market report.
HVA was the top turnover generator yesterday closing 30 cents down at Rs.13.10 with 4.3 million shares traded between Rs.12.90 and Rs.14.30.
CTC followed contributing Rs.31.1 million to turnover closing Rs.15 up at Rs.675 on 46,339 shares done between Rs.668 and Rs.675.
Among the blue chips that showed quantity were Bukit Darah up Rs.3.10 to Rs.750 on 22,703 shares, Carsons down 20 cents to Rs.462.20 on 28,126 shares, Chevron up 50 cents to Rs.171.50 on 51,632 shares, JKH up 70 cents to Rs.180.70 on 45,989 shares and Aitken Spence closing flat at Rs.110.50 on 52,850 shares.
D. Samson Industries announced a first and final dividend of Rs.2 for 2011/12 XD from July 31 and with payment on August 9.
On’ally Holdings announced a final dividend of Rs.1.45 per share for 2011/12 XD from July 31 and with payment on August 10.