ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka stocks rebounded on Wednesday gaining 0.10 percent on buying interest in John Keells Holdings, while the rupee ended at a new low of 169.80 rupees against the US dollar and gilt yields edged lower, market participants said.
Colombo's All Share closed 0.10 percent higher gaining 6.09 points to 5,813.83, rebounding from an intraday low of 5,792.30, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks fell 0.22 percent, down 6.57 percent to 2,969.60.
Market turnover was 788.3 million rupees with 74 stocks gaining in the day against 59 that declined.
Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 20 cents 2.60 rupees), John Keells Holdings (up 90 cents to 132.30 rupees) and Distilleries (up 20 cents to 16.50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Net foreign selling was 1.4 million rupees, down sharply from selling of 133.7 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 16 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.
Two crossings in John Keells Holdings totalled 630.2 million rupees, accounting for 80 percent of market turnover.
The Sri Lanka rupee closed at a new low at a wide spot market quote of 169.65/95 rupees against the US dollar. The rupee closed the previous day at 169.20/50 rupees against the US dollar.
On Wednesday, the currency traded at an intraday low of 169.80 rupees to the greenback, market participants said.
The central bank injected 42.5 billion rupees (via term and overnight reverse repo auctions and banks borrowing from its overnight window) on Wednesday to sterilise a market liquidity shortage.
The injections now total 226.75 billion rupees since the rupee collapsed twice in 2018 after the central bank tried to operate a 'flexible exchange rate' by injecting and maintaining unsterilized excess liquidity of tens of billions of rupees through domestic or foreign asset purchases.
Overnight market liquidity was short by 35.62 billion rupees on Wednesday, down 2.06 billion rupees from a day earlier.
Gilt yields in the secondary market closed lower on Wednesday.
A three-year bond maturing in 2021 closed at 10.60/68 percent in two-way quotes, down from the previous day's close of 10.73/82 percent.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 ended at 10.85/90 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.92/11.00 percent. (COLOMBO, 03 October 2018)