May 03, 2013 (LBT) - Big caps carry index above 6,000: The bourse stagnated during most part of the 1st half of trading with only marginal gains to record a sudden surge amidst buying interest in the heavyweight counters. Strong buying and gains in Ceylon Tobacco, John Keells Holdings, Dialog, Hatton National Bank and Distilleries resulting in the index surging by 40 points to close passing the 6,000 mark at 6,013 after 16 months since 03.01.2012. The S&P SL20 also witnessed a similar trajectory as blue chips controlled the uptrend to record 25 point gain.
John Keells Holdings dominates proceedings: John Keells Holdings, the premier conglomerate dominated trading activity to be the top performer for the day supported by 2 crossings accounting for 381k shares at LKR252.0. In onboard trading the counter renewed its 52-week high to LKR253.0 while it managed to close on the high side at LKR252.8 denoting the strength of the buying. Banking sector counters Commercial Bank and National Development Bank registered considerable investor interest with former recording number of large blocks of 135k, 200k and 312k at prices LKR115, LKR116 and LKR118 respectively. The former gained 1.4% to LKR116.6 while the latter gained 0.7% to LKR171.1 at close.
Retail Play heavy on Colombo Land and Touchwood: Colombo Land saw heavy retail participation with 1.4mn shares trading during the day between LKR50.5 and LKR53.8 while closing at 53.6 with a gain of 5.1%. Touchwood Investments which witnessed heavy selling pressure yesterday recovered marginally to LKR6.0 (+5.3%) amidst heavy volume of 4.5mn shares. Retail activity is on the rise: With the market on an upward rally retail participation has considerably improved. Though retail participation is mostly linked to speculative counters it is clearly evident that fundamental counters such as Textured Jersey and Piramal Glass also have recorded reasonable retail participation.