Sri Lanka rupee breaches Rs.173 against USD, stocks rebound 1.1-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed Friday at a new low of 173.05/20 rupees against the US dollar while stocks rebounded a sharp 1.1 percent amidst buying foreign buying interest in John Keells Holdings and Hatton National Bank, market participants said.

The rupee traded at an intraday low of 173.08 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market.

The currency closed Thursday at 172.75/90 rupees against the greenback.

Gilt yields edged higher in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended unchanged at 10.85/95 percent in two-way quotes and a five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 11.35/40 percent, edging higher from 11.33/38 percent the previous day.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share index gained 1.10 percent, up 63.42 points to 5,831.96, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks ended a sharp 2.38 percent higher, up 69.68 points to 2,997.33.

Market turnover was 1.47 billion rupees with foreign activity accounting for nearly 72 percent. During the day, 104 stocks had gained against 27 that declined.

John Keells Holdings (up 4.60 rupees to 140.10 rupees), Sampath Bank (up 9.40 rupees to 231.90 rupees), Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 40 cents to 2.70 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.

Commercial Bank gained 2.50 rupees to 110.30 rupees and Melstacorp ended 1.50 rupees higher at 50 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 48.3 million rupees, down from selling of 277.5 million rupees the previous day.





Foreign selling in Commercial Bank was 82 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

Foreign buying in Hatton National Bank was 104 million rupees, followed by 88 million rupees in John Keells Holdings. Hatton National Bank closed 3.30 rupees higher at 208.30 rupees.

Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 1.1 billion rupees, accounting for 76 percent of market turnover.

There were six crossings in Commercial Bank for 474.4 million rupees, three in Hatton National Bank for 209.3 million rupees and three in Nestle Lanka for 204.7 million rupees.

Nestle Lanka was unchanged at 1,650 rupees.

One crossing in Lion Brewery amounted to 91.9 million rupees while two in John Keells Holdings amounted to 91 million rupees.

Lion Brewery ended 24.70 rupees lower at 575 rupees.

There was one crossing in NDB Bank for 44 million rupees; the stock gained 2.90 rupees to close at 101.90 rupees. (COLOMBO, 26 October 2018)

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