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Thursday, 10 September 2009

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Stocks surge to new highs

Stocks at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) gained across the board as investors bought up the market.

The broader market index, the ASPI and the more sensitive MPI, both gained 2 percent to end at 2,780 (up 56 points) and 3,128 (up 59 points) yesterday.

The ASPI was at these levels last in early May 2007, but is still below the peak of 3,012 points of late February of the same year. Turnover of Rs 1.3 billion was spread across most shares in a market that saw 116 shares gain while 49 shares declined.

According to the CSE a record number of transactions were executed yesterday. Over 14,400 trades executed yesterday was the second highest number of trades executed at the CSE on a given market day. The highest of 15,290 trades was recorded on June 18 2009.

The Colombo bourse has seen a significant growth during the year 2009, with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) recording a gain of 84.9 percent for the year to date, and the Milanka Price Index (MPI) recording a growth of 91.7 percent, year to date.

This performance has made the CSE the fourth best performing market worldwide, according to Bloomberg Newswire.

Yesterday the investment trust sector saw a gain of 12 percent, mainly due to Ceylon Investments announcing a 1 for 5 buy-back of shares at Rs 189.00.

The announcement saw the share gain 20 percent to end at Rs 167.50 though it reached an intra-day high of Rs 175.00.

The purchase of shares will commence on November 9 and close on November 23.

The construction and engineering sector gained 7 percent with Colombo Dockyards closing up Rs 10.75 to Rs 160.00 (up 7 percent). The land and property sector gained 5 percent with Colombo Land gaining 17 percent (85 cents) to close at Rs 5.75. The plantation sector lost a percent as the trade union action issue yet remained unresolved.

Asian markets were mixed with Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down a percent and Singapore's STI down half a percent.

China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 2 percent and the Bombay Sensex gained half a percent. Gold dipped below $1, 000.00 mark to trade at US$995.00/troy ounce. Source: First Guardian Equities, CSE

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[At a glance]

* A record number of transactions were executed during the day.

* CSE the 4th best performing market worldwide

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