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Bourse turns red

Aug 23, 2011 4:20:25 PM - www.ft.lk

The Colombo stock market remained lackluster with both indices down on low turnover.
The ASPI dipped 66.88 points to close at 6,861.15 points (-0.96%). MPI also dipped 73.32 points to close at 6,219.03 points (-1.17%).  Year to date return of ASI was 3.4%. Total turnover amounted to Rs. 1.5 billion.

“Indices turned red again amidst selling across the board. Only selected stocks continued to attract investors while the overall activity remained dull. Short term speculative profit taking sentiment seems to have an impact on the sustainable growth of the market,” NDB Stockbrokers said.
Banks, Finance and Insurance sector was the main contributor to the market turnover (due to People’s Merchant) and the sector index decreased by 1.23%. The share price of People’s Merchant increased by Rs. 1.40 (5.57%) and closed at Rs. 22.80.
HVA Foods was the main contributor to the market turnover. The share price decreased by Rs. 2.20 (5.57%) and closed at Rs. 36.80.
Healthcare sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover (due to Asiri Hospital Holdings) and the sector index increased by 6.20%. Interest witnessed in Asiri Hospital Holdings during the final trading hours lifted the share price up to Rs. 10.90, gaining Rs. 3.40 (40.96%).
Renewed interest was witnessed in Colonial Motors while profit taking took place in Colombo Land which made quick gains last week, NDBS said.
Arrenga Capital said market continued its downward trend for the 3rd consecutive day with investors continuing their speculative drive on the low-mid cap counters where occasional profit taking was witnessed.
It said retail and high net worth chase continued in HVA Foods, leading the counter to add up 10.7% to the day’s turnover. Despite the counter touching an all-time high of Rs.40.5 during early trading hours, profit taking on the counter thereafter led it to dip 5.6% to close at Rs. 37.3.Following Monday’s attention on Asiri Central Hospitals, its related entities, Asiri Hospital Holdings and Asiri Surgical, entered the high net worth and retail favourite pick list. Asiri Hospital Holdings witnessed high price fluctuations as it closed at Rs.11.7 after touching a 52-week high of Rs.12.4 (up 49.4%) and an intra-day low of Rs.8.2 (down 1.2% from previous close). Asiri Surgical also closed at Rs.10.1 after touching a 52-week high of Rs.11.0. Consequently, health sector price index rose by 6.2% to close at 716.1 points.
Renewed high net worth interest in People’s Merchant led the counter to the gainers’ list as it appreciated by 6.5% to close the day at Rs.22.8.
Profit taking in the property sector counters; Colombo Land & Development and East West Properties , led the counters dip 5.2% and 5.3% respectively whilst The Lanka Hospital Corporation also dipped 9.7% to close at Rs.66.2.
High net worth participation continued in National Development Bank, as the counter registered a parcel of 241k shares being crossed at Rs.135.0.
DNH Financial said whilst the market has continued to shed some of its gains since crossing the 7,000 resistance level, the losses may be temporary as the broker estimates market price to growth (PEG) now to have fallen to 0.6 times. This it said should re-attract investors.
“While global markets remain jittery as a result of debt and recessionary worries, we expect the Colombo bourse to remain resilient underpinned by firm domestic fundamentals and strong corporate performance,” DNH added.