* Market’s value up by Rs. 47 b; ASPI up over 110 points* Sentiments on top blue chips lead rebound; foreign inflows back to Rs. 19 b level
The Colombo stock market yesterday shot up sharply in response to positive impact following the US Federal Reserve’s decision on continuity of stimulus to the US.
The market’s value rose by Rs. 47 billion as the benchmark index gained by 113 points or near 2% whilst the blue chip S&P Sri Lanka 20 Index improved by 60 points or 2%.
Yesterday’s gain pushed ASI’s year to positive return to over 3%. Turnover was a healthy Rs. 850 million whilst the market saw a net foreign inflow of Rs. 129 million bringing the year-to-date figure back to Rs. 19
The Colombo Bourse’s likely performance was speculated by the Daily FT yesterday as analysts expressed good news from the US gave relief across emerging markets on Thursday. The Sri Lanka Rupee also strengthened yesterday (see box story).
“Indices depicted a strong positive trend following the positive sentiment stemming from the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its stimulus intact,” Softlogic Stockbrokers said.
“Colombo shares regained lost ground and posted notable gains on Friday as investors welcomed the Fed’s surprise decision to keep its vast stimulus policy unchanged. The decision to maintain US stimulus policy was a great relief to the frontier markets such as Sri Lanka, which was suffering from fears of capital flight back to the developed world,” Lanka Securities added.
Softlogic said blue chips led the gains. John Keells Holdings (+2.78%), Carson Cumberbatch (+5.54%), Ceylon Tobacco Company (+1.9%), Asian Hotels & Properties (+10.33%) and Distilleries (+4.49%).
JKH highlighted the crossings board with five blocks which totalled 1.19 million shares transacted at Rs. 215 each. Aitken Spence recorded a crossing of 300,000 shares at a 52-week low (off-board) price of Rs. 113.3. The former touched Rs. 218.0 at its intra-day high before closing with a gain of 2.8% while the latter closed up marginally at Rs. 113.5.
“Blue chips stepped centre stage and dominated the top turnover slot denoting notable buying interest,” Softlogic said.
Renewed interest was observed in Carson Cumberbatch supported by two on board blocks accumulating to 249,000 shares at Rs. 400 each. Commercial Bank also gathered some interest where mid-sized blocks traded at a price range of Rs. 113-114.90 and closed at Rs. 114.90.
Distilleries too displayed noteworthy on-board turnover dominated by three transactions totalling 190,000 shares at a prices between Rs. 180-183. Hatton National Bank also saw active on-board participation largely backed by a large block of 124,000 shares at Rs. 151.
Retail participation improved amidst the positive sentiment in the bourse. Majority of interest surrounded Blue Diamonds, Nation Lanka Finance, Touchwood Investments, HVA Foods and Textured Jersey Lanka. The latter gained 5.9% at its intra-day high of Rs. 14.3 before settling at Rs. 14.20.