WRITTEN BY THARANGA SENARATNE
Feb 05, 2013 (LBT) - The bourse extended volatile sentiments to initiate trading following holidays, as the benchmark index failed to sustain its initial uptick touching a high of 5,816.5 (+16.
, as it followed a slippery path thereafter to close at its low of 5,781.3 points with a 18.4 points plunge. Nations Lanka Finance (-1.0%), Asian Hotels & Properties (-4.2%), Lanka Orix Leasing (-3.0%) and People’s Leasing & Finance (-3.7%) weighed on the index negatively. On the contrary, S&PSL20 index managed to close in the green with a 13.2 points advance with outstanding contributions from solid stocks in the S&P caliber; Ceylon Tobacco (+0.6%), Commercial Bank (+1%), Dialog Axiata (+1.2%) and Distilleries (+1.3%). The market turnover dipped to the lowest recorded so far in 2013 reading LKR447.3 mn amidst subdued retail play.
Bourse has been experiencing a consolidation phase over the past two weeks which seems to extend to the current trading week as well. Profit taking in few selected counters has kept the indices down, yet accumulation into steady play has continued with considerable activity by foreign & local institutions coupled with the local high net worth investors. This we reiterate as a strong indication of high confidence shown in the equity prospects over the coming periods. We expect the indices to gather momentum in the coming weeks reasoned by the attractive earnings flow as well. Interest didn’t fade away in Commercial Bank of Ceylon as the counter yet again spearheaded the day’s turnover list with a c.27% contribution. Followed by heavy foreign & high net worth investor play in the counter, buying interest extended in it as it witnessed several large on-board deals including 469.9k & 379.5k share blocks. The counter advanced 1% to close at LKR106.8 trading at highly attractive valuations. Diversified sector players John Keells Holdings and Aitken Spence also grabbed considerable attention as they registered a crossing each. The former saw a parcel of c.130.7k shares being traded at LKR229.0, whilst the latter encountered a block of c.202.5k shares being crossed off at LKR125.0. Both the counters witnessed significant on-board parcels as well.
Buying interest was notable in Access Engineering amidst sizeable on-board trades as the counter advanced 1.5% to close at LKR20.0. Interest renewed in CT Holdings, whilst baking sector play was highlighted in Sampath Bank, Hatton National Bank [Non-Voting] and Union Bank. Hotel sector players, John Keells Hotels & Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings also proved to be active during the day. European Stocks Climb: European stocks climbed, rebounding from their biggest plunge in more than three months, as companies from Munich Re to BP Plc reported earnings. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.5% to 285.3 at 8:48 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.3% following the equity benchmark’s biggest drop since November, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1%. Oil Trades Near One-Week Low on Forecast of US Supply: Oil traded near its lowest closing level in a week in New York, after sliding the most in two months yesterday, before a report that may show rising stockpiles in the US. Crude for March delivery gained as much as 29 cents to USD96.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at USD96.38 at 9:10 a.m. London time.