Trading after a four-day closure, the Colombo stock market on Friday crashed further, losing Rs. 141 billion in value, as investors reacted negatively to the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) locally and globally.
The benchmark All Share Price Index dropped by 6.2% or 303 points and the more active S&PSL20 index plunged 11.7% or 258 points. Turnover was Rs. 421 million.
Friday’s Rs. 141 billion wipe out of value was on top of Rs. 214 billion last week, bringing the total in the last five market days to a staggering Rs. 355 billion.
By Friday, Sri Lanka had confirmed 72 persons COVID-19 positive cases with thousands either in self-quarantine or at dedicated centres countrywide whilst globally it was over 250,000 with the number of fatalities crossing the 10,000 mark.
The pandemic has forced countries to close borders, businesses, and government offices and ban public gatherings.
The Colombo Bourse opened with the news of curfew from 6 p.m. Friday till 6 a.m. Monday amidst a ‘Work From Home’ week until 27 March as the Government stepped up mitigation measures to prevent a worse outbreak of COVID-19.
Trading at the CSE ended at 12 noon, earlier than originally planned, due to the curfew announcement.
NDB Securities said indices closed in red as a result of price losses in counters such as John Keells Holdings, Commercial Bank and Dialog Axiata.
High net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank and Commercial Bank. Mixed interest was observed in John Keells Holdings and Hatton National Bank, whilst retail interest was noted in Access Engineering. Furthermore, foreigners remained active, closing as net sellers.
Banks sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank and Hatton National Bank), whilst the sector index lost 12.62%. The share price of Sampath Bank decreased by Rs. 15.80 (11.72%) to close at Rs. 119.00. The share price of Commercial Bank lost Rs. 12.00 (16.64%) to close at Rs. 60.10. The share price of Hatton National Bank recorded a loss of Rs. 15.10 (12.56%) to close at Rs. 105.10. Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings) whilst the sector index decreased by 8.42%. The share price of John Keells Holdings moved down by Rs. 10.30 (8.19%) to close at Rs. 115.40.
Dialog Axiata was also included amongst the top turnover contributors. The share price of Dialog Axiata declined by Rs. 1.00 (10.53%) to close at Rs. 8.50.