"The market is awaiting direction from external forces," a broker explained. "The European Central Bank (ECB) is due to meet today (Thursday) and the US Fed on Sept. 17. Decisions taken there will certainly influence global stock markets."
He said there was "very strong support" at the 7,230 level on the ASPI which closed yesterday at 7,245.50. Brokers and analysts expect that foreign players who have been exiting Colombo in recent weeks will get some signals from the ECB and the Fed.
Foreigners were active on the sell side leading to a net outflow of Rs. 196.08 million with sales of Rs. 274.76 million well ahead of purchases of Rs. 78.18 million.
"The market was holding today," a broker said. "But we can expect the going to be slow this month with investors waiting for news on the new cabinet and signals on what next year’s budget will portend."
There were three single parcel crossings yesterday in Commercial Bank (voting), HNB (voting) and Asiri worth a total of Rs. 180.45 million. ComBank saw nearly 790,000 shares crossed at Rs. 170 in a deal worth Rs. 134.2 million, HNB 111,000 shares crossed at Rs. 220 (Rs. 24.5 million) and Asiri a million shares at Rs. 21.80 (Rs. 21.8 million).
"Blue chips were the most traded stocks with Sampath topping the floor trades followed by JKH and Commercial Bank (voting)," a broker said. "We also saw quantities of Asiri and Textured Jersey both of which were up 10 cents at close while Sampath closed 50 cents down and JKH 40 cents down and ComBank flat."
"The ASPI ended flat amid weak market turnover," John Keells Stock brokers said in a market wrap. "Trading in selected banking, diversified, healthcare, manufacturing, and construction & engineering counters led activity levels, with crossings on COMB, ASIR, and HNB accounting for 32% of total turnover."
Banks, Finance & Insurance was the most actively traded sector (-0.15%), it noted.
Sampath closed 50 cents down at Rs. 264 on nearly 231,000 shares traded between Rs. 264 and Rs. 264.50 (Rs. 61.3 million), JKH 40 cents down at Rs. 177 on over 324,000 shares done between Rs. 176.50 and Rs. 180 (Rs. 57.4 million) and ComBank flat at Rs. 171 on over 132,000 shares done between Rs. 170.10 and Rs. 171.
Asiri was up 10 cents to close at Rs. 22 on over a million shares done between Rs. 21.60 and Rs. 22.10 and Textured Jersey up 10 cents to close at Rs. 31.90 on over 536,000 shares done between Rs. 31.80 and Rs. 32.10.
Courtesy: The Island 3 September 2015