Jan 30, 2013 (LBT) - Bourse witnessed strong foreign and high net worth play hiking up turnover level past the LKR2.6 bn mark, the highest since19th November 2012. Accumulation in selected bluechips led to large off-board deals worth LKR2.2 bn taking up 83% of the day’s turnover. The benchmark index moved at a stagnant pace whilst fluctuating between 5,799.45 points and 5,828.99 points, partially recovering from a significant dip during the previous trading session mainly led by S&P caliber players; Ceylon Tobacco Company (+1.7%), John Keells Holdings (+1.4%), Nestle Lanka (+2.6%) and Asian Hotels & Properties (+2.8%). The index settled at 5,825.90 points while the S&P SL20 secured a gain of 7 points at its close of 3,193.63 points.
Commercial Bank defined the day’s market story with three large off-market tranches which were executed at the final hour of trading. This involved 17.7 mn shares which were crossed off at LKR103.0 while on-board trades carried a block amounting to c.224k shares at LKR104.0. The counter touched LKR106.5 (+1.5%) before slipping 0.3% at its close of LKR104.6. Banking sector play was highlighted in Hatton National Bank (+0.6%), DFCC Bank (-0.8%) and Sampath Bank (+0.2%). Both former counters secured slots in the top turnover for the day while the latter, after having touched a new 52-week high at LKR221.8 yesterday, gained 0.6% at its peak of LKR221.0 before closing with a dip at LKR220.0.
Lanka Orix Leasing which accounted for notable foreign participation recently added a further two off-board blocks totaling 5 mn shares at a 52-week low (off-market) price of LKR71.5. It saw an on-board parcel of c.119k shares being picked at LKR70.0 before slipping 0.3% at its close of LKR69.1. John Keells Holdings continued its stride highlighting the crossings board during early hours as it encountered 146k shares at LKR225.0 while its price crossed the LKR229.0 mark on thin volume. The counter which secured a 1.3% gain at its close remained a key positive contributor to indices. Interest stayed in Royal Ceramics (+0.2%) having seen two blocks totaling 200k shares being transacted on-board at LKR99.1 before the counter secured a marginal gain at its close of LKR99.5. Retail activity was notably evident in SMB Leasing, Piramal Glass, Lanka Orix Finance, Renuka Agri Foods and Watawala Plantations. The latter encountered a block of 1 mn shares at its closing price of LKR12.2 while activity levels of Renuka Agri Foods was backed by a block of c.2.2 mn shares at LKR5.0. Further, Brown & Company regained investor play with c.98k shares being traded at LKR123.9.
European Stock Are Little Changed Before US GDP Data; Emerging Stocks Head for Best Monthly Streak in Three Years: European stocks were little changed near a 23-month high before a report that may show the US economy expanded in the fourth quarter at the weakest pace in almost two years. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.1% to 290 at 8:57 a.m. in London. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 0.4% to 1,073.71 as of 4:52 p.m. in Hong Kong. Oil Trades Near Four-Month High Before Federal Reserve Statement: Oil traded near the highest level in four months ahead of a Federal Reserve policy statement that may signal the US central bank will take additional steps to stimulate the economy of the world’s biggest crude user. WTI for March was at USD97.50 a barrel, down 7 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:13 a.m. London time.