The benchmark All Share Price Index closed with 61.75 points or 0.6% down whilst the active S&P SL20 gained by 9 points or 0.26%. Turnover was Rs. 3 billion involving 117 million shares.
Asia Securities said the S&P SL20 got support from price gains in JKH (+3.9%), HAYL (+1.4%), COMB (+1.3%), VONE (+2.0%) and MELS (+2.8%), which cushioned the losses recorded by EXPO (-2.0%), LOFC (-1.2%) and LOLC (-2.1%) to some extent.
It said LB Finance PLC (LFIN) acquired 64.62% of Multi Finance PLC (MFL) for Rs. 400 million during the session. EXPO (Rs. 1,032 million), and BIL (Rs. 194 million) were other major contributors.
“Following a downbeat opening, the ASPI reached an intra-day low of 10,057 (-227 points), however the index regained ground gradually as the session progressed and ended marginally lower on the back of price gains in the above-mentioned counters. Overall, 70 stocks closed in green while 134 settled with losses,” Asia said.
It also said foreigners recorded a net inflow of Rs. 35.6 million while their participation declined to 0.7% of turnover (previous day 5.3%). Net foreign buying topped in JKH at Rs. 19.3 million and selling topped in SFIN at Rs. 0.5 million.
First Capital said the ASPI continued the decline for its fourth session in a row as fears over a wilder economic crisis continued to weigh on the investor sentiment with global jitters further adding to the gloom. However, S&P SL 20 index gained by 9 points for the day led by the price gains witnessed in some of the big cap counters.
“The Index exhibited a steep fall till mid-day while reaching an intraday low of 10,054 and thereafter witnessed a recovery and settled up at 10,223 shedding 62 points for the day,” First Capital said adding turnover levels remained yet improved compared to the previous trading day and was significantly contributed by Transportation and Diversified Financials sectors which accounted for 58% of the turnover.
NDB Securities said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Multi Finance, Expolanka Holdings and John Keells Holdings. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, whilst retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Lankem Developments.
The Transportation sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Expolanka Holdings), whilst the sector index lost 2.05%. The share price of Expolanka Holdings decreased by Rs. 5.25 (2.05%) to close at Rs. 251.
Diversified Financials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Multi Finance and Lanka Orix Finance), whilst the sector index decreased by 1.26%. The share price of Multi Finance lost 40 cents (3.96%) to close at Rs. 9.70. The share price of Lanka Orix Finance recorded a loss of 20 cents (1.24%) to close at Rs. 15.90.
Browns Investments and Hayleys were also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Browns Investments closed flat at Rs. 10.50. The share price of Hayleys appreciated by Rs. 1.40 (1.44%) to close at Rs. 98.40.
Separately Melstacorp, Distilleries and Hayleys announced their interim dividends of Rs. 2.70, 70 cents and Rs. 4 per share respectively whilst Sri Lanka Telecom announced a first and final dividend of Rs. 2.02 per share.