Sri Lanka rupee ends at new low, stocks flat

ECONOMYNEXT- The Sri Lanka rupee closed at a new low of 160.65/75 rupees against the US dollar Tuesday on importer demand as stocks ended flat amidst foreign buying in Lanka Milk Foods and Ceylon Tobacco, brokers and dealers said.

Importer demand was continuing to pressure the currency fuelled by excess rupee liquidity in the banking system, dealers said.

The US dollar closed Monday at 160.50/60 rupees.

Overnight interbank surplus liquidity fell 3.87 billion rupees on Tuesday to 29.64 billion rupees, but was higher compared to 10.29 billion rupees on 25 June.

Gilt yields edged up in the secondary market for government bonds.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 9.97/10.04 percent in two-way quotes, marginally narrower from the previous day’s close of 10.96/05 percent.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.28/42 percent, up from the previous day’s 10.25/40 percent.

In equities, Colombo’s benchmark All Share index closed 0.06 percent lower, down 3.86 points to 6,040.37, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed a sharp 0.42 percent lower, down 13.62 points to 3,213.99.

Market turnover was 464.1 million rupees, up from the previous day’s turnover of 193.22 million rupees, with 96 stocks declining in the day against 43 that gained.





Two of the largest market caps, John Keells Holdings closed 60 cents higher at 138.50 rupees and Ceylon Tobacco gained 32.40 rupees to 1,300.80 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 48 million rupees, up from selling of 11.7 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 98 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. Foreign buying in Ceylon Tobacco was 42 million rupees followed by 23 million rupees in Lanka Milk Foods.

Lanka Milk Foods closed 90 cents lower at 159 rupees.

Hemas Holdings (down 4 rupees to 90 rupees), Softlogic Holdings (down 80 cents to 21.20 rupees), Dialog (down 10 cents to 13.80 rupees) and Distilleries (down 10 cents to 19.90 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index.

Sampath Bank closed 1.30 rupee lower at 276.70 rupees and Lanka Hospital Corporation was down 2.50 rupees to 40 rupees.  (COLOMBO, 21 August 2018)

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