Thursday July 18, 2019

Sri Lanka rupee strengthens, stocks end 0.21-pct lower

Aug 13, 2018 17:51 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee gained against the US dollar on export conversions Monday, while gilt yields eased and stocks fell 0.21 percent on selling in banking stocks, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee closed stronger against the US dollar at 160.00/05 rupees in the spot market, after export conversions strengthened the currency from an intra-day low of 160.15 rupees, dealers said.

The US dollar closed Friday at 160.05/10 rupees.

The Central Bank was also seen buying US dollars from the market which increased rupee liquidity.

Overnight excess liquidity in money markets was up 3 billion rupees since last Thursday to 57.5 billion rupees on Monday, with the Central Bank mopping up 20 billion rupees in excess liquidity via the reverse repo window during the day.

Gilt yields eased across most maturities in the secondary market for government securities.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 9.86/94 percent lower, up from 9.81/87 percent the previous close.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed lower at 10.15/25 percent, down from Friday's closing of 10.18/27 percent.

In equities, the Colombo All Share index closed 0.21 percent lower, down 12.73 points to 6,128.82, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended a sharp 0.43 percent lower, down 14.28 points to 3,302.19.

John Keells Holdings (down 3 rupees to 141.90 rupees), Dialog (down 10 cents to 14.20 rupees), HNB (down 1.90 rupees to 222 rupees) and Seylan Bank (down 4 rupees to 75 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Market turnover was 242.15 million rupees on Monday, down the previous day's turnover of 432 million rupees, with 81 stocks declining during the day against 43 that gained.

Net foreign buying was 36.8 million rupees, down from buying of 101.5 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign buying in Tokyo Cement was 33 million rupees, followed by 15 million rupees in Central Finance, according to Asia Securities.

Tokyo Cement closed 20 cents higher at 32 rupees and Central Finance gained 1 rupee to 97 rupees.

Foreign selling in Sampath Bank was 16 million rupees. The banking stock closed 1.90 rupees lower at 280.10 rupees.

Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 121.8 million rupees accounting for 50.3 percent of market turnover.

Two crossings in Tokyo Cement amounted to 64.5 million rupees.

There was a crossing each of 36.5 million rupees in John Keells Holdings, and 20.8 million rupees in Overseas Realty which closed 20 cents lower at 16 rupees. (COLOMBO, 13 August 2018)


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