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Sri Lanka rupee ends steady, gilt yields unchanged

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka rupee closed steady at 184.60/80 to the US dollar on Monday while bond yields remained unchanged as the new COVID cluster panic grip the market, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 184.50/185.60 against the greenback on Friday.

Sri Lanka identified a new COVID cluster in Gampaha district yesterday after an apparel factory employee was tested positive.

So far 73 persons have tested positive including the first factory worker and her daughter. Around 950 direct contacts of the patient have been traced.

Sri Lanka’s Medical Research Institute (MRI) Director Dr Jayaruwan Banadara said that the novel coronavirus has been in the community for the past few months and the risk of the spread has now increased.

“From January to now this virus has been present in the community somehow,” he said.

Bandara said it is unlikely that the COVID-19 patient found in Divulapitiya yesterday after two months of no new cases reported outside the identified clusters if there was no patients already in the community.

In the secondary securities market, bond yields remained unchanged in dull market trade, dealers said.

FirstCapital Research in its daily report notes that “panic grips the bond market”.

“The secondary bond market remained at a standstill during the day as fear of another wave of COVID-19 and volatility in liquidity and CBSL holdings led to panic among the market participants.”

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A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 closed at 5.70/85 per cent on Monday, steady from 5.70/80 per cent at Friday’s closing.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2023 closed at 5.75/90 per cent, flat from 5.75/95 per cent at the last closing.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 6.22/32 per cent, marginally up from 6.25/40 per cent at Friday’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 closed at 6.45/60 per cent on Monday, down from 6.50/58 per cent at Friday’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 6.80/88 per cent, down from 6.85/95 per cent at previous day’s end.

A bond maturing on 15.08.2027 closed at 7.05/12 per cent on Monday, stable from 7.05/15 per cent at the previous day’s end.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 7.15/35 per cent flat from the previous day’s end.

A 10-year bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 7.40/60 per cent, up from 7.35/70 per cent at Friday’s closing.
(Colombo/OCT05/2020)

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