Sri Lanka rupee closes steady, stocks down 0.40-pct
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed steady against the US dollar in the spot market trading in a narrower band Monday while gilt yields edged higher and stocks closed 0.40 percent lower amidst foreign buying in Sampath Bank, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 157.85/95 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on thin volumes, dealers said. The US dollar closed at 157.80/158.00 rupees last Friday. The Central Bank was not seen intervening in the market, they said.
Gilt yields closed edged up in the secondary market for government bonds on thin volumes, dealers said.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.40/48 percent in two-way quotes, up from 10.40/45 percent the previous close.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.68/78 percent, up from 10.65/75 percent the previous close.
In equities, the Colombo All Share index closed 0.40 percent lower, down 25.99 points to 6,466.07, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 0.12 percent lower, down 4.33 points to 3,624.41.
Market turnover was 524 million rupees, down 21 percent from the previous day.
Foreign buying was 152 million rupees, compared to selling of 51.4 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in Sampath Bank was 209 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. Sampath Bank closed 7 rupees higher at 308 rupees.
BRAC Lanka Finance (down 10.90 rupees to 41.10 rupees), Ceylon Tobacco (down 10 rupees to 1,050 rupees) and LOLC (down 3.90 rupees to 115.10 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.
Nestle Lanka fell 30 rupees to 1,700 rupees and John Keells Holdings fell 1 rupee to 160.90 rupees.
One crossing, or off-market negotiated trade, was recorded in Sampath Bank at 117.6 million rupees which was 22.4 percent of market turnover. (COLOMBO, 21 May 2018)