ASPI ends lower amid lackluster turnover levels

By Hiran H.Senewratne

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) indicated mixed reaction in both indices yesterday. Although stocks opened 0.16 percent higher at the beginning it got sluggish at the end of day's trading, brokers and dealers said.

All Share Price Index was down by 9.99 points and S and P SL20 was up by 8.15 points. The day's turnover stood at Rs 379.7 million with a single crossing. The crossing reported from CDB, which crossed 2.4 million shares to the tune of Rs 202.3 million per share value Rs 85.

In the retail market companies that mainly contributed to the day's turnover were Commercial Bank Rs 33.3 million (345,000 shares traded), Richard Peiris Rs 14.8 million (1.2 million shares traded), Aitken Spence Rs 12.4 million (263,000 shares traded), LOLC Rs 11.3 million (87400 shares traded) and CIC (Non Voting) Rs 9.3 million (191,000 shares traded). During the day 12.9 million share volume changed hands in 3369 transactions.

John Keells Holdings was Rs 3.00 up to Rs 163.50 a share, LOLC Holdings was up Rs 5.30  to Rs 133.00  a share and Commercial Bank of Ceylon gained Rs 1.40 to Rs 97.80  a share, contributing to ASPI’s gain. CDB crossing contributed more than 53 percent to the day's turnover.Analysts said the tax reduction has already been factored in and the market is waiting to see the impact of the new policy.

 Analysts and research firms have said the tax cut decision would provide a boost to the economy, but would put increased strain on the country’s fragile public finances. Yesterday's turnover stood less than this year’s daily average of about  Rs 724 million. Last year’s daily average was Rs. 834 million. Foreign investors were net sellers of government securities on a net basis for the first week, selling a net Rs 4.2 billion  worth of government securities in the week ended Dec. 4.

Total foreign outflows from government securities through Nov. 27 stood at Rs 47.9 billion, according to Central Bank data.

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