Business

CSE Highs and Lows

By Shenal Fernando 

Continuing worries regarding the state of the economy appeared to weigh heavily on the bourse during the week as the market appeared unable to sustain momentum following the initial surge observed on Monday (23).

Trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) started with a bang on Monday (23) with the All-Share Price Index (ASPI) surging by over 100 points within the first few minutes of trading and continued moving north. This positive movement was mainly due to the rally in Expolanka Holdings PLC (EXPO), which contributed over Rs. 1 billion to the total turnover of the day. Similarly, all LOLC group counters played a part in the positive movement of the market as they all recorded gains during the day due to widespread expectations of the release of positive financial statements.

Accordingly, the ASPI closed the day up 208.88 points (2.53%), reaching 8,474.49 points compared to the previous day’s close of 8,265.61 points. Similar movement was observed in the Standard & Poor’s Sri Lanka 20 (S&P SL20) index, which increased by 94.06 points (up 3.42%) during the day, reaching 2,844.97 points compared to the previous day’s close of 2,750.91 points. A healthy turnover of Rs. 2.7 billion was observed in the market, up 38% from the previous day, with over 153.3 million shares traded. The main contributors to the positive movement of the ASPI on Monday (23) were EXPO which contributed 38.3 points, followed by LOLC Holdings PLC (LOLC) with 32.8 points, Browns Investments PLC (BIL) with 25.7 points, Lanka IOC PLC (LIOC) with 11.1 points, and LOLC Finance PLC (LOFC) with 4.1 points.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday (24) the CSE failed to maintain its momentum, with 130 counters down and only 46 counters up, as the release of the high inflation figures for April 2022 (NCPI: 33.8%) and the new fuel prices weighed negatively on investor confidence. 

However, a rally was observed in LIOC following the Government’s announcement of the implementation of a fuel pricing formula. Consequently, LIOC was up 12% for the day, trading at Rs. 57.8 by market close. The ASPI fell by 81.02 points (down 0.96%) during the day, reaching 8,393.47 points from the previous day’s close of 8,474.49 points. Similarly, the S&P SL20 index was down 28.52 points (1.00%), reaching 2,816.45 points from the previous day’s close of 2,844.97. Market turnover constricted by 15.1%, falling to Rs. 2.3 billion compared to Monday (23), with 308.0 million shares traded.

Wednesday’s (25) market was initially positive during the first hour of trading and reached an intra-day high of 8,44.64 points before losing momentum as the bears took over. By the close of the day, the ASPI was down 23.31 points (0.28%) reaching 8,370.16 points from the previous day’s close of 8,393.47 points. Similarly, the S&P SL20 index was down 36.42 points (1.29%), falling to 2,780.03 points from the previous day’s close of 2,816.45. Market turnover continued its downward trend, falling to Rs. 1.6 billion with 72.2 million shares traded.     

The downward trend continued on Thursday (26), with the ASPI falling by 50.58 (0.60%) points to 8,319.58 points from the previous day’s close of 8,370.16. A similar movement was observed in the S&P SL20 index, which fell by 35.09 points (1.26%) to 2,744.94 points from the previous day’s close of 2,780.03. Market turnover was also down at Rs. 1.6 billion with around 103.8 million shares traded.