The Colombo stock market is gathering further strength as the benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) crossed the 6,900 point level, increasing the year-to-date gain to near 17%.
Foreigners continued to remain bullish too with a net buying of Rs. 425 million, enlarging the year-to-date net inflow to Rs. 11.68 billion.
“The ASPI crossed the 6,900 mark and ended at 6,908.2, the highest in almost three years, supported by buoyant investor sentiment across the board, amidst falling interest rates and improving corporate earnings,” Asia Securities said.
The day saw almost two shares gained for every share that fell whilst several shares continued to record new 52-week highs, it added.
The Colombo stock market ended on positive note as the core index witnessed its second best gain recorded in a single session during the year. “Investors were optimistic on equities during the day amid decreasing yields in fixed income securities,” Lanka Securities said.
It said gainers outweighed the losers 166 to 53, while 50 counters remained unchanged. Cash map declined to 38% from 41%. Furthermore 72 counters reached 52-week high prices during the session and out of 72, 21 equities were financial institution counters. Four counters touched 52-week low price levels.
The S&P SL20 Index meanwhile, gained 37.24 points to increase its year-to-date return to 16%.
Turnover was Rs. 2.2 billion bolstered by large block trades, crossings and active trading. The Diversified and Bank, Finance & Insurance sector continued to dominate the day’s activities with a combined contribution of around 63.6% to the turnover.
John Keells Holdings (JKH) emerged as the top turnover contributor with around 22.5% contribution supported by two block trades totalling to around two million shares executed at Rs. 238.50 each and several other large trades. In addition, the share along with its warrants contributed around 28.4% to the day’s turnover.
JKH saw Rs. 479.5 million worth of net foreign buying followed by Access Engineering (Rs. 47 million), Chevron (Rs. 17.4 million) and Softlogic (Rs. 12.2 million).
Gains in other index heavy counters such as Ceylon Tobacco (up 2.4%) and Carson Cumberbatch (up 2.2%) also boosted the main index.
NDB Securities said parcel trades were witnessed in Nations Trust Bank, Chevron Lubricants, Janashakthi Insurance and Access Engineering. Retailers were active in counters Union Bank, Central Investments & Finance and Textured Jersey Lanka.
Reuters said the index has been in the overbought region since 3 July, as local investors moved funds from fixed income to riskier assets such as shares because of low interest rates and foreign buying.