(EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up again Wednesday following gains in the past two trading days with the market surging at the opening and the benchmark index hitting the 7,450 mark in late morning trade but the rally tapering off later, brokers said.
The All Share Price Index rose 18.38 points (0.25 percent) to 7,438.52 while the S&P SL20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange, edged up 3.70 points (0.09 percent) to reach 4,149.11.
Turnover fell back from yesterday’s two billion rupees to 1.4 billion rupees.
"Stocks posted mild gains on the pre-election day after a notable surge in the morning session," Lanka Securities said.
The benchmark ASPI was pushed up by gains in Hemas Holdings, Aitken Spence, Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, Access Engineering and Sri Lanka Telecom.
Access Engineering was the most actively traded stock with over 4.2 million shares changing hands. It closed at 35.30 rupees, up 80 cents (2.32 percent).
Access Engineering was the top contributor to the market turnover with 149 million rupees followed by Seylan Bank non-voting and Commercial Bank, Lanka Securities said.
The market has revived in recent days with presidential poll to be held on Thursday where incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa faces a stiff challenge from Maithripala Sirisena, a defector from his own ranks, now appearing as the candidate of a newly unified group of opposition parties.
The Colombo bourse will be closed at 12 noon Thursday owing to the presidential election.
Hemas Holdings closed up four rupees (5.13 percent) at 82, Aitken Spence gained 2.40 (2.31 percent) to close at 106.10, Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings rose 4.4 percent to end at 83.50 rupees and Sri Lanka Telecom ended up 40 cents (0.8 percent) at 51.70.
There were several crossings Singer Finance, Seylan Bank non-voting and Seylan Bank.
Foreign investors were net buyers with net inflow of 82 million rupees mainly in Commercial Bank, Sanasa Development Bank and Access Engineering whereas net foreign outflow was mainly seen in Hatton National Bank.