Uncertainties triggered by protests take a toll on CSE investor sentiment

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE trading activities were negative and volatile throughout yesterday and mid-day shares edged down, as investors await more macroeconomic cues on decisions for a finalized IMF agreement, an analyst said.Investors are sticking on the sidelines, due to mass protests against the government’s tax policies which have created some uncertainties and blunted investor sentiment. Due to these uncertainties the Treasury Bill auction was not oversubscribed the previous day, the analyst added.

Amid those developments both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 25 points and S and P SL20 went down by 12 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.2 billion with three crossings.

Those crossings were reported in JKH, whose 731,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs 105 million, its shares traded at Rs 144.25, Sigiriya Village 886,000 shares crossed for Rs 55.8 million, its shares fetched Rs 63 and JAT Holdings 3.7 million shares crossed to the tune of Rs 58.9 million, its shares traded at Rs 14.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 202 million (1.4 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 101.9 million (549,000 shares traded), TJ Lanka Rs 77.2 million (two million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 73 million (584,0000 shares traded), Softlogic Capital Rs 37.9 million (2.3 million shares traded), Asia Hotel Properties Rs 36.3 million (1 million shares traded) and Capital Alliance Rs 36.2 million (1.3 million shares traded). During the day 44.6 million share volumes changed hands in 11000 share transactions.

However, shortly the market picked up on a steady uptrend as Banking and Diversified Financials sector counters rallied following the President’s speech. Although the index crossed the 9,000-level by mid-day, it failed to sustain the positive momentum.

It is said high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Teejay Lanka and JKH. Mixed interest was observed in Tokyo Cement Company non-voting, Softlogic Life Insurance and Expolanka Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, LOLC Finance and Softlogic Capital.

The Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings), while the sector index lost 0.31%. The share price of JKH decreased by Rs. 1.50 to Rs. 144.

The Materials sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Tokyo Cement Company non-voting), while the sector index decreased by 0.75 per cent. The share price of Tokyo Cement Company non-voting lost Rs. 1.10 (3.24 per cent) to Rs. 32.90.Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 359.40 and the selling rate Rs 370.27.


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