Colombo bourse started the weekly operations on a negative note with a lackluster trading session on Monday ahead of the potential government workforce strike relating to concerns on budget 2016. All share index shed 29.27 index points (-0.43%) to end at 6,803.08 while 20-scrip S&P SL index declined by 21.68 index points or  0.60% to close at 3,585.63.

High caps such as John Keells Holdings (closed at LKR 173.70, -1.3%), Sri Lanka Telecom (closed at LKR 45.50, -1.3%) and Bukit Darah (closed at LKR 485.00, -3.9%) drove the index performance to red territory.

Daily market turnover was LKR 557mn. Commercial Bank emerged as the top contributor to the turnover with LKR 177mn followed by John Keells Holdings (LKR 104mn), Sampath Bank (LKR 60mn) and People’s Leasing & Finance (LKR 29mn).

Several crossings were recorded in John Keells Holdings (0.5mn shares at LKR 175.00), People’s Leasing & Finance (1.0mn shares at LKR 22.00) and Sampath Bank (0.2mn shares at LKR 250.00). Aggregate value of crossings accounted for 27%.

Reflecting the negative sentiment, out of 225 counters, 103 slipped, 61 advanced while 61 counters remained unchanged. Cash map inclined from 44% to 51%. 46 counters touched 52wk low price mark.

Access Engineering, John Keells Holdings and Textured Jersey witnessed high investor activity.

Following to the interim dividend of LKR 10.00 per share in Ceylon Tea Services, counter advanced to LKR 650.00 but closed at LKR 640.00, +1.6%. High caps such as Asian Hotels & Properties, HNB Assurance, Union Bank, Lion Brewery, Carson Cumberbatch, Aitken Spence and Bukit Darah declined to 52wk low price levels.

Foreign investors were net sellers with a net foreign outflow of LKR 185mn. Foreign participation was 59%. Net foreign outflows were seen in Commercial Bank (LKR 85mn), Sampath Bank (LKR 58mn), Dialog Axiata (LKR 20mn) while net foreign inflow was mainly seen in Distilleries (LKR 6mn).

(Lanka Securities Research)