Stocks were broadly lower today (Wednesday) for a third straight day, as profit taking continued in index heavyweights.  Benchmark All Share Price index lost 45.73 points or -0.64% to end at 7,149.46 whilst S&P SL 20 index lost 14.70 points (-0.37%) to end at 3,971.47.

The losses were mainly driven by price declines in high cap counters such as Commercial Bank (closed at LKR 161.00, -1.1%), Sri Lanka Telecom (closed at LKR 46.00, -2.1%) and Lanka Orix Leasing Company (closed at LKR 109.00, -3.3%).

Daily market turnover was LKR 958mn. Several crossings were recorded in Commercial Bank (0.5mn shares at LKR 160.00 per share) and Chevron Lubricants (0.1mn shares at LKR 386.00 per share). Total crossings represented 11% of the market turnover.

Further Commercial Bank positioned at the top of the turnover list with LKR 162mn followed by ACL Cables (LKR 69mn) and Seylan Bank non-voting (LKR 48mn).

Losers outweighed the gainers 140 to 61 while 56 counters remained unchanged. Cash map declined to 44% from 50%. 12 counters dropped to 52wk low prices where 04 counters advanced to 52wk high prices.

Moreover shares of Eastern Merchant continued to attract investors for the second consecutive session. The counter advanced to LKR 13.80, +14% during the day but closed at 13.30, +9.9%. Further Ceylon & Foreign Trades, ACL Cables and Seylan Bank non-voting were among heavily traded counters.

ACL cables advanced during the session touching a 52wk high price of LKR 96.60, +7.5% subsequent to the positive interim results which showed >100% profit growth. The counter closed at LKR 94.00, +4.6%.

John Keells Holdings continued in the downtrend to drop to a 52wk low price of LKR 193.00, -0.6%, but managed to close at LKR 193.70, -0.2%.

Foreign investors were net sellers with a net outflow of LKR 72mn. Foreign participation was 27%. Net foreign outflows were mainly seen in Commercial Bank (LKR 156mn), Chevron Lubricants (LKR 12mn) and Lanka Century Investments (LKR 11mn) while top net inflow was seen in Sampath Bank (LKR 19mn).

(Courtesy: Lanka Securities Research)