ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks ended down 0.12 percent on Friday amidst foreign selling in John Keells Holdings, as gilt yields increased and the rupee ended stronger at 169.20/40 rupees against the US dollar, market participants said.
Colombo's All Share fell 0.12 percent, down 7.13 points to 5,862.18, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks was down 0.24 percent, falling 7.31 points to 3,002.
Market turnover was 633.6 million rupees with 92 stocks declining during the day against 57 that gained.
HNB (down 3.80 rupees to 210 rupees), Singer Sri Lanka (down 2 rupees to 30.20 rupees) and John Keells Holdings (down 50 cents to 131.50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.
Net foreign selling was 58.1 million rupees, down from selling of 110.5 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 67 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.
There were two crossings in John Keells Holdings for 102.6 million rupees, accounting for 16 percent of market turnover.
The Sri Lanka rupee gained marginally to 169.20/40 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market Friday amidst intervention and short liquidity in money markets, market participants said.
The rupee ended Thursday at 169.35/55 rupees against the greenback.
Overnight money markets were short by 58.16 billion rupees on Friday with the central bank injecting 64 billion rupees during the day via term and overnight reverse repos including banks borrowing 32.54 billion from the overnight window.
Market analysts said short money markets can help strengthen the currency in a soft-peg regime.
The one month interbank offered rate rose to 9.09 percent on Friday from 9.00 percent three days earlier.
Gilt yields rose in the secondary market.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 11.05/15 percent, up from the previous closing of 10.95/11.00.
An eight-year bond maturing in 2026 closed at 11.10/25 percent, up from 11.00/15 percent a day earlier.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 ended at 11.10/35 percent, up from 11.00/20 percent the previous close. (COLOMBO, 28 September 2018)