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Colombo equities started the weekly operation on a positive note ahead of the UNHCR sessions. Benchmark All Share Price index gained 8.95 index points or 0.13% to end at 7,162.44 while S&P SL 20 index advanced by 5.33 (+0.14%) to end at 3,919.61.

Price appreciations in counters such as Commercial Bank (closed at LKR 168.00, +1.1%), Trans Asia (closed at LKR 90.00, +5.6%) and Dialog Axiata (closed at LKR 11.30, +0.9%) contributed favorably to the index performance.

Market turnover was LKR 697mn. John Keells Holdings topped the turnover list with LKR 212mn supported by the single crossings where 0.8mn shares changed hands at LKR 174.00 per share. Commercial Bank (LKR 77mn), Textured Jersey (LKR 63mn) and Ceylon Grain Elevators (LKR 47mn) recorded next best contributions to the turnover. Another crossing was recorded in Textured Jersey (1.8mn shares at LKR 31.80 per share). Total crossings represented 27% of the market turnover.

Market breath was relatively positive with 104 counters rising, 93 counters declining while 56 counters remained unchanged. Cash map inclined from 56% to 61%.

Poultry sector counters namely Ceylon Grain Elevators (closed at LKR 88.20, +3.9%), Three Acre Farms (closed at LKR 134.00, +8.9%) and Bairaha Farms (closed at LKR 187.90, +4.8%) were among heavily traded counters for the session while Ceylon Grain Elevators and Three Acre Farms recorded fresh 52wk high prices of LKR 88.20 and LKR 134.90 respectively. Further, Kalamazoo Systems (LKR 2,200.00) and Ceylon Hospitals (LKR 119.80) recorded 52wk high prices. 14 counters recorded 52wk low prices.

Moreover, shares of John Keells Holdings Warrant 0022, Lanka IOC, John Keells Holdings and Hayleys were among heavily traded counters of the session.

Lee Hedges advanced during the session subsequent to the special dividend of LKR 1.30 per share declared last Friday. The counters advanced to LKR 450.00, but closed at LKR 449.90, +4.6%.

Foreign investors turned to be net buyers with a net inflow of LKR 290mn after two consecutive days of net selling. Foreign participation was 33%. Net foreign inflows were seen in John Keells Holdings (LKR 167mn), Commercial Bank (LKR 60mn), Textured Jersey (LKR 57mn) while net foreign outflow was mainly seen in Access Engineering (LKR 8mn).

(Courtesy: Lanka Securities Research)