Sri Lanka rupee hits new low; gilts close higher, stocks end flat
Sep 19, 2018 17:51 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT- The Sri Lanka rupee ended on a new low breaching 167 rupees against the US dollar on Wednesday as gilt yields edged higher and stocks closed flat on buying interest in John Keells Holdings and Melstacorp, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee weakened to 167.00/40 rupees against the US dollar in a wide quote on Wednesday, falling sharply from the previous closing of 165.90/166.10 rupees on Tuesday.
The US dollar traded at 163.60/80 rupees last Friday.
Gilt yields edged higher in the secondary market for government bonds on a liquidity shortfall and currency pressure, dealers said.
A three-year bond maturing 2021 closed at 10.45/50 percent, up from the previous closing of 10.35/45 percent but after spiking higher intra-day.
The bond was auctioned on September 13 for an average yield 10.03 percent where dealers were forced to buy.
A seven-year bond maturing in 2025 closed at 10.70/80 percent, up from 10.65/80 percent a day earlier, and up from the auction weighted average of 10.32 percent.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.55/79 percent, up from 10.55/65 percent a day earlier, but down from an intra-day spike of 10.70 percent.
In equities, Colombo's All Share index inched 0.06 percent higher, up 3.54 points to 5,974.75, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained 0.16 percent, up 5.04 points to 3,077.36.
Market turnover was 657.15 million rupees with 61 stocks gaining during the day against 65 that declined.
John Keells Holdings (up 1.60 points to 133.50 rupees), Melstacorp (up 1.40 rupees to 51.40 rupees) and Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 20 cents to 2.90 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Net foreign selling was 207.8 million rupees, down from selling of 200.7 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 115 million rupees, followed by 53 million rupees in Sampath Bank (down 4.70 rupees to 250.30 rupees) and 37 million rupees in Distilleries (down 30 cents to 16.60 rupees), according to Asia Securities.
There was a crossing each in Melstacorp for 100.2 million rupees, Lion Brewery 58.1 million rupees, Sampath Bank for 50 million rupees, Commercial Bank 21.5 million rupees, and HNB 33.6 million rupees.
Lion Brewery was unchanged at 640 rupees, Commercial Bank was down 10 cents to 116.40 rupees and HNB closed 1 rupee lower at 217 rupees. (COLOMBO, 19 September 2018)