February trading volume drops off from January
During the month of February, 58,690,555 shares traded on the six stock exchanges across CARICOM, down from the 107,405,211 shares traded in January, with 21 stocks advancing, 18 declining and 82 unchanged.
Cable and Wireless Jamaica was again the volume leader with 13,106,910 shares being traded. Ciboney posted the largest gain of 100 percent for the month, while on the losing end, Lasco Distributors fell 34 percent. During February, sixteen of the Caribbean Select Index(CSX)30 stocks advanced, seven declined and seven were unchanged. The CSX 30 advanced 0.47 percent to close February at 1,146.3, up, 1.39 percent year to date. For the month, four of the Caribbean Junior Share Index CJSX stocks advanced, four declined and two were unchanged. The CJSX declined 10.35 percent to close February at 1,076.8, down, 5.93 percent for the year. It was a miserable month for the junior market which has now given up all of its gains for the year.
During February, six banking stocks advanced, five declined and eleven were unchanged. The Caribbean Banking Index(CBSX)gained 0.81 percent, to close the February at 1,130.9, up 1.67 percent year to date. The CBSX was led by Demerara Bank, Scotia Bank TT, Scotia Group Jamaica and Republic Bank Guyana which posted gains of 11.11 percent, 6.59 percent, 2.72 percent and 2.39 percent respectively. On the losing end, Bank of The Bahamas and Finance Corporation of The Bahamas lost 10.25 percent and 3.99 percent respectively.
During February, seven conglomerate stocks advanced, one declined and two were unchanged. The Caribbean Conglomerate Index(CCSX)gained 0.786 percent to close February at 1071.3, down 0.79 percent year to date. The CCSX was led by Grace Kennedy, Banks Holdings Barbados, Neal and Massey and Goddards Enterprises which all posted gains of 2.80 percent, 2.60 percent, 2.47 percent and 1.69 percent respectively.
Communications and utilities(CCUX)
In the communications and utilities sector, one stock advanced, four declined and nine were unchanged. The CCUX declined 0.33 percent to close February at 1194.4, up 11.53 percent for the year. The lone advancing stock was Cable and Wireless Barbados which gained 0.93 percent for the month while the index was dragged down by Gleaner, Cable and Wireless Jamaica and Cable and Wireless St. Kitts and Nevis which posted losses of 10.86 percent, 10.04 percent and 1.73 percent respectively.
Insurance and investments
In the investments and insurance sector, six stocks advanced, five declined and six were unchanged for the month. The Caribbean Insurance and Investments Index(CIIX)declined 1.06 percent to close February at 976.9, down 1.61 percent year to date. While Jamaica Money Market Brokers, Eastern Caribbean Financial Holdings, First Jamaica Investments and Sagicor posted gains of 10.11 percent, 7.1 percent, 5.69 percent and 3.3 percent, the CIIX was dragged down by the losses registered by Doctors Health Services(12.5 percent), Guardian Holdings(10.01 percent), Mayberry Investments(6.01 percent)and Scotia Dehring Bunting(5.34 percent).
In the manufacturing sector, twelve stocks advanced, four declined and fourteen were unchanged. Despite the relatively large number of advancing stocks, the Caribbean Manufacturing Index(CMSX)declined 1.7 percent to close February at 1118.8, down 1.93 percent year to date. The CMSX was dragged down by sizeable declines in three large capitalization stocks, Angostura Holdings(-30.51 percent), Desnoe and Geddes(-13.5 percent)and National Flour Mills(-9.74 percent). These losses cancelled out the gains posted by Berger Paints Jamaica(43.12 percent), Kingston Wharves(31.76 percent), Flavourite Foods(14.97 percent)and Caribbean Cement Company(11.55 percent).
Retail and distribution(CRDX), tourism, real estate and banking
In the retail and distribution sector, seven stocks advanced and three were unchanged. The Caribbean Retail and Distribution Index(CRDX)advanced 1.71 percent to close February at 1091.1, up 5.49 percent year to date. Prestige Holdings, Angostinis, St. Kitts Nevis Trading and Cave Shepherd all posted gains of 6.94 percent, 5.0 percent, 2.77 percent and 2.14 percent respectively to close out a strong month for this sector.
Tourism and real estate
In the tourism and real estate sector, one stock advanced, three declined and five were unchanged. Even though Ciboney gained 100 percent, the Caribbean Tourism and Real Estate Index(CTRX)was dragged down by a 8.59 percent decline in Pegasus. Due to Pegasus’large market capitalization, the decline in Pegasus had a major impact on the CTRX. The CTRX declined 7.3 percent to close February at 789.9, down 1.33 percent year to date.