Rupee opens weaker in forwards, stocks steady
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee opened weaker in seven-day forwards at 177.40/60 rupees against the US dollar Friday, with gilt yields edging up and stocks steady amidst buying interest in banking stocks, market participants said.
The rupee ended Thursday at 177.10/30 rupees against the greenback in seven-day forwards, weakening from 176.50/70 rupees the previous close.
Import demand and foreign selling in government securities is generating demand for the greenback, market participants said.
The spot market was inactive after briefly trading on Thursday at 176.60 rupees to the dollar.
The rupee was last quoted in the spot market a week earlier on Friday at 175.25/50 rupees against the greenback, weakening marginally from the previous closing of 175.00/50 rupees.
Gilt yields edged up in the secondary market.
A bond maturing in 2021 was quoted at 10.12/17 percent in early trading, edging up from the previous day’s 10.08/15 percent.
The 2023 maturity was at 10.60/65 percent, up from 10.58/61 percent.
A bond maturing in 2026 was quoted at 10.90/95 percent, up from 10.88/92 percent the previous day.
In equities, Colombo’s benchmark All Share Index was down 0.02 percent, 0.88 points lower at 5,457.90, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained 0.29 percent in early trading, up 7.62 points to 2,630.79.
Market turnover was 15.3 million rupees within the first-half hour of trading Friday with seven stocks gaining and eight declining.
Commercial Bank was up 20 cents to 91.80 rupees and Sampath Bank gained 1 rupee to 158 rupees.
Melstacorp was down 50 cents to 38.50 rupees. (COLOMBO, 3 May, 2019-SB)