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Colombo equity market closed session on the psychological 7,000 mark amid the low activity as investors remained on side lines due to lack of policy directions. In the latter part of the session, benchmark index touched 6,998 mark but managed to closed at 7,000.41, down by 28.66 index points (-0.41%) while 20-scrip S&P SL index shed 8.76 index points (-0.23%) to close at 3,786.74.

High caps namely Asian Hotels & Properties (closed at LKR 61.00, -3.9%), Cargills (Ceylon) (closed at LKR 175.50, -2.3%) and Hatton National Bank (closed at LKR 215.00, -0.9%) pinned the index performance to red territory.

Daily market turnover was LKR 391mn. John Keells Holdings topped the turnover list with LKR 49mn followed by Ceylon Grain Elevators (LKR 41mn), Distilleries (LKR 37mn) and Hatton National Bank (LKR 26mn). No crossings were recorded during the session.

Reflecting the negative investor sentiments where 237 counters, 138 declined, 50 advanced while 49 counters remained unchanged. Cash map down from 57% to 42%. 22 counters declined to 52wk low prices while 02 counters advanced to 52wk high price levels.

Despite the favourable interim results stocks such as Chevron Lubricants (+11%YoY), Hayleys Fibre (>+100%YoY) and Swisstek (+19%YoY) closed with negative returns. Chevron Lubricants closed lower at LKR 377.00, -1.2% and Hayleys Fibre closed at LKR 22.20, -0.9%. Meanwhile, Swisstek closed the session at LKR 60.00, -6.8%.

John Keells Holdings, George Steuart Finance and Hayleys Fibre were among heavily traded counters.

Poultry segment continued to slide down where all three counters declined by over 4%. Ceylon Grain Elevators declined to LKR 93.00 but closed higher at LKR 95.40, -8.2% while Bairaha Farms closed at LKR 206.00, -4.5% and Three Acre Farms closed at LKR 132.00, -4.4%.

Foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of LKR 15mn. Foreign participation was 23%. Net foreign inflows were seen in John Keells Holdings (LKR 29mn), ACL Cables (LKR 8mn), Hayleys (LKR 6mn) and net foreign outflow was mainly seen in Distilleries (LKR 23mn).

(Courtesy: Lanka Securities Research)