ASPI hits two-month low,heavy trade in blue chips

The All Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange hit a two-month low last week declining 82.92 points week-on-week as the market continued to lose impetus, Acuity Stockbrokers said in a market report.

Daily average turnover, nevertheless, rose marginally over the week as foreign activity (both buying and selling) on Thursday boosted business volumes to Rs.1.43 billion, the report said.

"Retail investors however continued to remain subdued amid selling pressure,’’ the report said, projecting ``similar sentiment this week too."

Foreign activity last week had declined significantly with a daily average net outflow of Rs.22.82 million. Foreigners had been net sellers on the Colombo market this year with the foreign net selling position standing at Rs.248.14 million with net inflows in February failing to offset heavy foreign selling in January.

The ASPI was down 1.45% week-on-week while S&P SL20 declined 0.51% losing 16.43 points at the close of last week’s trading.

Aitken Spence was the biggest contributor to last week’s turnover accounting for 22.48% of the total or Rs.773.54 million while HNB contributed Rs.577.97 million (16.79%). Commercial Bank accounted for Rs.332.72 million (9.67%) of the week’s total market value.

Turnover last week was down from the previous week’s Rs.3.94 billion, partly as a result of the Poya holiday-shortened trading week.

Last week’s daily average turnover value however had increased 9.25% week-on-week to Rs.860.38 million but market capitalization was down by 1.44% to close the week at Rs.2,171.7 billion.

John Keells Stockbrokers said that the market followed a downward trend over the week with turnover stimulated by large trades in Aitken Spence, JKH and large cap banking counters inclusive of crossings. The big trades in blue chips accounted for 68% of the week’s turnover, the JKSB report said.

"The large trades were mostly driven by foreign activity (both buying and selling) that resulted in a marginal outflow over the week," the report said.

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