Bear run continues in second market session

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The positive sentiment following the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister ended on Wednesday (18) and the bearish run continued for the second market session on Thursday (19) as the benchmark index slipped on a relatively lower turnover with foreigners exiting the Colombo Bourse.

Sri Lanka is facing a major foreign exchange crisis and the national economy is coming to a standstill as authorities fail to provide essentials to maintain daily routines.

Many, poor and rich alike are queuing at fuelling stations in hopes of obtaining petrol and diesel for daily operations, which has slowed down economic activity as most of the manpower hours are wasted in long queues.

The benchmark All Share Price Index, which started the day at 8,417.21 points on Thursday (19) lost 2.89 per cent (243.35 points) to close the day at 8,173.86 points.

The S&P SL20, representing the top 20 companies traded on Colombo Bourse, which started at 2,795.53 points, lost 3.29 per cent (91.83 points) to close at 2,703.70 points.

The Colombo Stock Exchange saw a daily turnover of Rs 1.59 billion on Thursday (19) higher than Rs 3.49 billion recorded the previous day.

The Colombo Bourse witnessed a foreign outflow worth Rs 9 million on Thursday (19) as foreigners sold shares worth Rs 42 million as against purchases of Rs 33 million. 

More than 69.2 million shares changed hands on Thursday (18) during 17,370 trades that took place.

Shares of 230 companies were traded during the day of which 171 emerged as losers comfortably ahead of 23 winners.

Expolanka Holdings, Royal Ceramics Lanka, LOLC Holdings, Commercial Bank and LOLC Finance dragged the benchmark index down despite attempts by Amana Takaful, Dialog Axiata, Asiri Surgical Hospitals, Hemas Holdings and Vallibel Power Erathna to pull it up.

The top ten losers during the day were: Industrial Asphalt, Dialog Finance, Samson International, Tangerine Beach Hotels, Lighthouse Hotels, Union Bank, Nation Lanka Finance, Keells Hotels, Ogala Graphite and Colombo Fort Investments.

Top winners were: Amana Takaful, ACME, Bansei Resorts, Unisyst, Serendib Engineering Group, Madulsima Plantations, Asiri Surgical Hospitals, Marawila Resorts, Browns Beach Hotels and Horana Plantations.

By Mario Andree