The All Share Price Index was up 45.25 points (0.69%) and S&P SL 20 up 27.55 points (0.85%) with 128 gainers comfortably ahead of 77 losers while 107 counters closed flat.
"The ASPI is now slightly over 5,850 points and had gained considerably this week," a broker said. "The question now is whether the 6,000 point barrier will be breached in the short term."
Block trades in HNB (voting), ERI, Commercial Bank (voting), ERI warrants of two tenures and Dialog accounted for nearly Rs.1.06 billion of the day’s business volumes with HNB leading the pack with block trades worth Rs.572 million. The crossings were done at Rs.143 per share.
HNB closed Rs.3 up at Rs.149 on nearly 0.3 million shares traded between Rs.143 and Rs.149.90 on the floor contributing Rs.286 million to turnover.
ERI also saw block trades worth Rs.153.4 million and Commercial Bank crossings worth Rs.76 million with nearly 0.7 million shares done in two parcels at a price of Rs.111, Rs.6 above the previous close.
On the trading floor, ComBank closed Rs.1.40 up at Rs.113.30 on nearly 1.5 million shares traded between Rs.109.90 and Rs.111.40 contributing Rs.162.5 million to turnover.
NDB continued to gain closing Rs.4.60 up at Rs.153.50 on 0.3 million shares done between Rs.149 and Rs.154 generating a turnover of Rs.45.6 million with investors looking forward to a good dividend on the context of heavy capital gains booked on the sale of Aviva NDB Insurance.
Textured Jersey which has posted good nine months results closing 20 cents up at Rs.10 on nearly 4.3 million shares, Sampath Bank (up one rupee) closing at Rs.238, ComBank (non-voting) up Rs.1.60 to close at Rs.94.50 and DFCC up 50 cents to close at Rs.128 all showed both volume and price gains.
Sampath saw over 0.1 million shares traded, ComBank X nearly 0.3 million shares and DFCC 0.1 million shares transacted.
Brokers said that there was some retail participation although the lion’s share of the day’s trading was done by "the big boys."