ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.31 percent lower amidst foreign selling in John Keells Holdings while gilt yields edged higher and the rupee ended lower around 169.25/55 rupees against the US dollar, market participants said.
The rupee had traded as low as 169.40 to the dollar in intra-day trading amid intervention.
Colombo's All Share index closed 0.31 percent lower, down 18.21 points to 5,869.31, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks ended 0.34 percent lower, down 10.27 points to 3,009.31.
Market turnover was 419.8 million rupees on thin volumes with 70 stocks declining during the day against 41 that gained, brokers said.
BRAC Lanka Finance (down 8 rupees to 40.20 rupees), Sri Lanka Telecom (down 80 cents to 20.50 rupees) and John Keells Holdings (down 1 rupee to 132 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.
Commercial Bank fell 90 cents to 113.10 rupees and DFCC Bank ended 1.10 rupees lower to 89.90 rupees.
Net foreign selling was 110.48 million rupees, against selling of 49.5 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign selling was 59 million rupees each in John Keells Holdings and Ceylon Investment PLC, according to Asia Securities.
Ceylon Investment closed unchanged at 37.50 rupees.
HNB on Wednesday announced a board decision proposing to raise 2 billion rupees via a debenture issue for Basel III capital. The bank's shares did not trade Thursday and was unchanged at 213.80 rupees.
No crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, were reported during the day.
The Sri Lanka rupee closed marginally weaker at 169.25/35 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market Thursday on importer demand, clawing back up after falling to an intraday low of 169.40 rupees, market participants said.
The rupee closed Wednesday at 168.90/169.20 rupees to the US dollar amidst intervention to contain currency pressure, as market interest rates moved up providing support to the rupee.
The money market was short of liquidity and the central bank injected 56.14 billion rupees via overnight and term reverse repo auctions.
Interest rates were seen rising. The one month Sri Lanka Interbank Offered Rate has risen to 9.06 percent from the previous day's 9.02 percent.
Gilt yields also went up.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.95/11.00 percent, edging higher from the previous close of 10.70/80 percent.
A six year bond maturing in 2024 ended at 10.95/11.05 percent, up from the previous closing of 10.80/90 percent.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 was quoted at 11.00/20 percent, up from 10.90/11.10 percent the previous day. (COLOMBO, 27 September 2018)