Tuesday June 18, 2019

Sri Lank rupee ends at new low, stocks fall below 6,000 points

Sep 18, 2018 18:15 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - The Sri Lanka rupee closed at a new low against the US dollar on Tuesday as gilt yields edged higher and stocks fell to nine-month low below 6,000 points amidst foreign selling in John Keells Holdings, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee was quoted at 165.90/166.10 rupees against the US dollar at close of trading in the spot market Tuesday, with actual trades reported at 166.00 rupees, dealers said.

The currency fell sharply the previous day closing at 165.00/30 rupees against the greenback after opening at 163.60/80 rupees that day, amid continued liquidity injections by the central bank below the ceiling repo rate.

Despite the weaker closing on Tuesday, there had been selling by banks that usually act for the central bank, dealers said.

Gilt yields edged higher in the secondary bond market for government bonds.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.55/60 percent in two-way quotes, up from the previous closing of 10.48/57 percent.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.70/85 percent unchanged from the previous close.

In equities, Colombo's All Share index declined a sharp 0.95 percent, down 57.28 points to 5,971.21, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks fell 1.85 percent, down 57.96 points to 3,072.32.

Sri Lank stocks have declined 6.25 percent so far in 2018, falling 19.19 percent since end 2014.

"Negative sentiments are building up due to political uncertainty," one broker said.

Market turnover was 881.2 million rupees on Tuesday with 112 stocks declining during the day against 33 that gained.

Index-heavy John Keells Holdings (down 2.70 rupees to 131.90 rupees), Distilleries (down 70 cents to 16.90 rupees) and Commercial Bank (down 3 rupees to 116.50 rupees) weighed down the index.

Sampath Bank closed 9.80 rupees lower at 255 rupees and Nestle Lanka was down 49.40 rupees to 1,700.60 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 200.6 million rupees with selling of 279 million rupees in John Keells Holdings, Asia Securities said.

Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 213.6 million rupees which was 24 percent of market turnover.

There was a crossing each of 79.7 million rupees in Seylan Bank, 63.6 million rupees in Union Assurance, 38 million rupees in Sampath Bank, and 32 million rupees in The Kingsbury.

Seylan Bank was unchanged at 71 rupees and Union Assurance was down 8 rupees to 325 rupees. The Kingsbury declined 40 cents to 15.30 rupees. (COLOMBO, 18 September 2018)





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