Colombo bourse extended losing streak for the third consecutive day amid the low investor activity levels. Benchmark index dipped below 7,000 mark for the fourth time during the month but managed to close at 7,006.35, down by 12.88 index points or 0.18% while 20-scrip S&P SL index shed 7.27 index points or 0.19% to close at 3,783.34.

Blue-chips such as Nestle Lanka (closed at LKR 2,020.00, -3.8%), Commercial Bank (closed at LKR 154.00, -0.7%) and Singer Sri Lanka (closed at LKR 125.30, -3.6%) drove the index performance to negative territory, along with the price decline in Lanka IOC (closed at LKR 37.50, -9.9%), due to the loss of LKR 373mn made in September quarter.

Daily market turnover was LKR 580mn. John Keells Holdings emerged as the top contributor to the turnover with LKR 99mn followed by Textured Jersey (LKR 50mn). Asiri Hospital Holdings was among the top contributors to the turnover with LKR 39mn supported by a single crossing of 0.9mn shares at LKR 24.00.

Market breadth was negative where out of 240 counters, 95 declined, 84 advanced while 61 remained unchanged. Cash map slightly increased from 46% to 48%. Counters such as Textured Jersey (LKR 35.00), Lanka Hospitals (LKR 62.70) and Resus Energy (LKR 27.40) stepped to fresh 52wk highs while 28 counters touched 52wk low price levels.

Lanka IOC, Lanka Hospitals and Textured Jersey were among heavily traded counters. Following the considerable drop in profits, counters such as Kelani Tyre (closed at LKR 75.00, -4.5%), Nations Trust Bank (closed at LKR 94.50, -0.5%) and Janashakthi Insurance (closed at LKR 18.30, -1.6%) witnessed negative returns during the session.

Moreover, debenture issue of Sampath Bank oversubscribed within hours of opening and the issue was closed for subscription. The bank intended to raise LKR 7bn via debenture issue. Shares of Sampath Bank declined by 0.4% to close at LKR 254.10.

Foreign investors were net buyers with a net foreign inflow of LKR 94mn. Foreign participation was 38%. Net foreign inflows were seen in John Keells Holdings (LKR 63mn), Asiri Hospital Holdings (LKR 38mn), Distilleries (LKR 14mn) while net outflow was seen in Dialog Axiata (LKR 29mn).

(Lanka Securities Research)