A Volatile Week at the CSE Due to Mixed Sentiments
Posted 23,May

By Chehan Jayasuriya

In Local News

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The market at the Colombo Stock Exchange was volatile for the entirety of the last week as mixed signals from political and economic fronts kept investors on their toes. Although news on increasing political stability was received throughout the week, negative news regarding the economic situation in the country countered and weighed on the positive sentiments in the market.

TT rates for the dollar remained around Rs. 365 the entire week.

Trading started on Tuesday last week. There the market gained 4.4% to hit a six-week high.
The All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 4.4% or 359.24 points to close at 8,457.65 points, while the S&P SL20 gained 5.54% or 147.50 points to close at 2,809.81 points. Turnover for the day was Rs. 2.75 billion.
“The market is moving on the positives as there is some sign of political stability. But this momentum will not last for long as interest rates in the market are already high,” a top market analyst said on Tuesday.
Expolanka, LOLC, and Browns Investment drove the indices up on Tuesday. Expolanka rose by 13.1% to close at Rs. 219.75 a share, LOLC gained 11.3% to close at Rs. 553.75 a share, while Browns Investment gained 16.2% to close at Rs. 7.20 a share.

For the first time in five consecutive sessions, the market slipped on Wednesday as investors looked to book their profits from previous trading sessions. Concerns over Fitch Ratings downgrading Sri Lanka’s credit rating to “Default” also weighed heavily on investor sentiments.
Turnover for the day was Rs. 3.5 billion, its highest since March 30. The ASPI dropped 0.48% or 40.44 points to 8,417.21 points, while the S&P SL20 lost 0.51% or 14.28 points. Wednesday’s slip in indices saw market capitalization drop by Rs. 8 billion.
Royal Ceramics, Melstacorp, and Richard Pieris dragged the indices down on Wednesday. Royal Ceramics lost 4.7% to close at Rs. 32.70 a share, Melstacorp dropped 3.5% to close at Rs. 41.50 a share, and Richard Pieris ended 4.8% lower to close at Rs. 14 a share.

Indices dropped once again on Thursday, reaching a near one-week low. Fitch Ratings downgrading Sri Lanka to default levels, acute fuel shortages, and sparks of political instability drove investor optimism down.
The ASPI lost 2.89% or 243.35 points to close at 8.173.86 points, its lowest since May 13. The S&P SL20 dropped 3.29%, or 91.83 points, to close at 2,703.70 points. The day’s turnover was Rs. 1.5 billion, slightly above one-third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 4.3 billion.

Friday saw the market gaining before the weekend, as nine new cabinet ministers were appointed. However, concerns over the hard default and economic crisis remained.
The ASPI gained 1.12% or 91.75 points to close at 8,265.61 points, while the S&P SL20 went up by 1.75% or 47.21 points to close at 2,750.91 points. Day’s turnover was Rs. 1.9 billion. Friday’s gains added Rs. 71.9 billion to market capitalization.
Expolanka, LOLC, and Browns Investment drove the indices up on Friday. Expolanka gained 8% to close at Rs. 219.50 a share, LOLC gained 3.8% to close at Rs. 556.50 a share, and Browns Investment gained 5% to close at Rs. 8.40 a share.