Rupee hits new low of Rs157.68 to US dollar, stocks gain 0.26-pct
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee extended a record low to 157.60/68 rupees against the US dollar Wednesday, as gilt yields continued to rise and stocks gained 0.26 percent on foreign buying in Sampath Bank, dealers and brokers said.
The rupee extended its record low to 157.60/68 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on importer demand fuelled by a money-printing central bank, analysts and dealers said.
The US dollar reached a peak of 157.75/90 rupees on unconfirmed volumes before settling to end the day at 157.60/68 rupees. The greenback closed at 157.20/30 rupees the previous day.
Gilt yields continued to increase, dealers said.
A five year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.10/17 percent in two-ways quotes, up from the previous day’s closing of 10.05/15 percent.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed higher at 10.32/42 percent, up from 10.30/40 percent a day ago.
The Colombo All Share index gained 16.92 points to 6,533.63, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed flat, up 2.75 points to 3,684.35.
Market turnover was 845.4 million rupees, up 137 percent from the previous day.
Net foreign buying was 315.8 million rupees, against selling of 25.8 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in Sampath Bank was 290 million rupees, followed by 29 million rupees in Commercial Bank, according to Asia Securities.
Sampath Bank gained 3.90 rupees to close at 315.20 rupees and Commercial Bank fell 1.90 rupees to 136.10 rupees.
John Keells Holdings (up 3.10 rupees to 164.50 rupees), Ceylon Cold Stores (gaining 30.10 rupees to 980.10 rupees), Distilleries (up 50 cents to 21.50 rupees) and Sampath Bank contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, amounted to 337.6 million rupees and was 40 percent of market turnover.
Sampath Bank had four crossings totalling 252 million rupee and a crossing each in JKH (32.9 million rupees), Commercial Bank (28.6 million rupees) and HNB (24.1 million rupees).
HNB closed 3.50 rupees lower to 241 rupees. (COLOMBO, 25 April, 2018)