ASPI gains over 2 per cent for the second time this week in the wake of bargain-hunting

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The All- Share Price Index gained over 2 per cent in mid-day trade yesterday for the second time this week on bargain-hunting.According to stock market analysts, the market was overly positive but the turnover was considerably lower. On the other hand, price appreciation in blue-chip counters was noted. Significant participation was noted in especially LOLC Group and Browns Investments.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. The All- Share Price Index went up by 209.9 points and S and P SL20 rose by 69.2 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed one million shares to the tune of Rs 133 million, its shares traded at Rs 133 and CIC Holdings 500,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 48 million, its shares fetched Rs 96.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 192 (949,000 shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 152 million (912,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 149 million (23.2 million shares traded), JKH Rs 35.9 million (270,000 shares traded), CIC Holdings (non- voting) Rs 34.5 million (531,000 shares traded), Colombo Fort Land Rs 33.7 million (1.3 million shares traded) and ACL Cables Rs 30.8 million (337,000 shares traded). During the day 58.8 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 share transactions.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in JKH, Kahawatte Plantations and R I L Property. Mixed interest was observed in Lanka IOC, Expolanka Holdings and CIC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Industrial Asphalts, Browns Investments and LOLC Finance.

The Energy sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Lanka IOC), while the sector index gained 9.05%. The share price of Lanka IOC increased by Rs. 17.75 (10 per cent) to close at Rs. 194.50.

The Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to JKH and ACL Cables), while the sector index increased by 0.97 per cent. The share price of JKH moved up by 75 cents (0.58 per cent) to close at Rs. 129.75. The share price of ACL Cables appreciated by Rs. 3.30 (3.86 per cent) to close at Rs. 88.80.Yesterday the Central Bank- announced dollar buying rate was Rs 360.65 and selling rate Rs 371.21.The inflation in the country remained at 73.70 per cent, which is quite high for a country.

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