Rupee falls to new low against US dollar, stocks gain 0.14-pct
ECONOMYNEXT – The rupee ended a volatile day at a new low of 157.80/90 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market despite making gains in early trading, while gilt yields eased and stocks closed 0.14 percent higher Friday, dealers and brokers said.
It was a volatile day for the US dollar in the spot market.
The rupee gained sharply to 157.15 rupees against the greenback after opening at 157.70/90 rupees on buoyed sentiments after the central bank said it would not intervene to stabilize the exchange rate, dealers said.
Later in the day, import demand for US dollars picked up weakening the rupee to a new low of 157.80/90 against the greenback. Importer demand was partly due to crude oil payments, dealers said.
The US dollar closed at 156.10/20 rupees a week earlier and since then, money printing by the central bank which fuels import demand destroyed the value of the rupee, analysts say.
Gilt yields eased slightly in the secondary market for government bonds, dealers said.
A five year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.15/20 percent in two-way quotes, down slightly from 10.15/25 percent the previous day.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.35/40 percent, down from the previous day’s closing of 10.35/45 percent.
The Colombo All Share index gained 9.32 points to 6,531.06, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.49 percent lower, down 18.16 points to 3,660.10.
Market turnover was 972 million rupees, up from 390.2 million rupees the previous day.
Net foreign selling was 53 million rupees, compared to buying of 2.9 million rupees the previous day. Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 29 million rupees.
JKH closed 10 cents lower at 164.50 rupees.
Distilleries (up 90 cents to 22 rupees), Lion Brewery (gaining 20 rupees to 545 rupees), LOLC (up 2 rupees to 127 rupees) and Sampath (up 2.19 rupees to 301.90 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Off-market, or crossings, totalled 566.9 million rupees and was 58 percent of market turnover.
Four crossings in John Keells Holdings totalled 451.7 million rupees, and one each in Melstacorp at 116 million rupees and Hemas Holdings at 28.1 million rupees.
Melstacorp was down 40 cents to 58.10 rupees and Hemas Holdings was unchanged at 125 rupees. (COLOMBO, 27 April, 2018)