Share market volatile following reports on Q3 growth decline

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE was volatile throughout yesterday following Census and Statistics Department reports that third quarter economic growth would shrink by 11.8 per cent. This has spread considerable gloom in the market, stock analysts said.

The stock market fell in mid-market trade and with holidays around the corner the market is seeing a selling spree. Consequently, the accent has fallen on selling and profit- taking, analysts said.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 74.34 points and the S and P SL20 declined by 3.6 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.86 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka Holdings, where 4.8 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs one billion and its shares traded at Rs 210, Agstar PLC 14.2 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 248 million; its shares traded at Rs175 and JKH 165,000 shares crossed for Rs 23.2 million, its shares fetched Rs 141.

In the retail market, top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 467 million (two million shares traded), Richard Pieris Rs 184 million (6.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 172 million (831,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 148 million (19.4 million shares traded), First Capital Holdings Rs 115 million (3.6 million shares traded), First Capital Treasuries Rs 48.6 million (1.9 million shares traded) and Lankem Developments Rs 48 million (1.3 million shares traded). During the day 85 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions. It is said that Expolanka Holdings contributed more than half to the turnover. SG Holdings purchased 4.8 million shares to the tune of Rs one billion through an arranged transaction. Yesterday the Central Bank- announced US dollar exchange rate was Rs 371.77.

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