Sri Lanka rupee closes at new low; stocks flat

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee hit a new low of 159.50/90 to the US dollar in the spot market Monday and stocks closed marginally lower, brokers and dealers said.

The fell from Friday’s close of 159.00 to the US dollar, buyers outpacing sellers, dealers said. On Friday also exporters were holding back, dealers said.

The central bank injected 8.0 billion rupees of overnight to money markets through at a weighted average rate of 8.49 percent, down from 15 billion rupees a year earlier.

Banks that were short borrowed a further 14.7 billion rupees of new money from the 8.50 percent liquidity window.

Well managed banks with excess liquidity deposited 13.86 billion rupees in the overnight window at 7.25 percent, creating a net liquidity shortfall of 8.42 billion rupees.

Monetary policy had improved from excess liquidity levels seen when the rupee peg first came under pressure in April.

A currency peg usually comes under pressure as when domestic credit picks up, or there is capital flight, while a floating rate will weaken if there is underlying strength in the US dollar. There has been some selling in bonds.

Stocks have also been weak amid coalition in-fighting.

Stocks closed down 0.04 percent with the Colombo All Share Index marginally down 2.3 pointsto 6,352. The S&P SL20 Index of more liquid stocks close closed 0.14 percent higher at 3,544 points, up 5.06 points.  (Colombo/June11/2018)





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