The Colombo bourse dramatically turned around yesterday with all three indices gaining sharply on a turnover of Rs.425.7 million, up from the previous day’s Rs.266.6 million, but brokers were cautious about identifying a rally after a long period of decline.
The All Share Price Index gained 56.90 points (1.17%), the Milanka was up 75.28 points (1.76%) and S&P up 26.91 points (0.98%) with 154 gainers leaving 51 losers trailing and 80 counters closing flat.
``It’s too soon to say that we have broken out of a prolonged bear market,’’ a broker said. ``We must wait and see developments. But there have been important meetings in recent days with potential upside.’’
The indices were driven by JKH up Rs.6.10, NDB up Rs.9.10, Ceylon Tobacco up Rs.5 though only on a single share and Nestle up Rs.60 also on a handful of shares.
Odel closed Rs.3.50 down at Rs.22.30, below a pending mandatory offer price of Rs. 23.50, on nearly a million shares done between Rs.22 and Rs.24 with retailers active in the stock.
Brokers said that during most of this month, Odel was trading between Rs.17.90 and Rs.18.20 but moved up sharply on Wednesday with rumours of a deal in the pipeline.
``Speculators may not have known at what price the deal would be struck and may have gone higher than the Rs.23.50 offer price and may be now cutting their losses,’’ a broker explained.
JKH was the top turnover generator for the day gaining Rs.6.10 to close at Rs.184 on over 0.3 million shares done between Rs.180 and Rs.184.50 contributing Rs.56.5 million to the business volume.
Colombo Land followed closing 90 cents up at Rs.32 on over 0.8 million shares done between Rs.31 and Rs.32.70.
NDB closed Rs.9.10 up at Rs.112.10 on nearly 0.2 million shares with speculation that finality is being reached about Aviva exiting Aviva NDB Insurance.
There was heavy retail activity on Free Lanka Capital Holdings which closed 20 cents up at Rs.2.10 on nearly 9.8 million shares traded between Rs.1.90 and Rs.2.10.
Retail play was also seen in HVA which closed 10 cents up at Rs.13.40 on 0.8 million shares done between Rs.13.30 and Rs.13.80.
Ceylon Tobacco announced a second interim dividend of Rs.12.80 per share for 2012 XD from August 8 and payment on August 17.