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Sri Lanka rupee ends stronger, gilt yields up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka rupee closed stronger at 185.50/55 to the US dollar on Tuesday while stocks gained and bond yields edged up, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 185.56/62 to the greenback on Friday as the market closed on Monday for Poya religious holiday.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index gained 0.83 percent or 42.55 points to close at 5,1668.81.

S&P SL20 index of most liquid stocks gained 1.63 percent or 35.43 points to close at 2,215.08.

“Optimism in anticipated political stability ahead of election drove the market on the positive sentiment for the 2nd consecutive session,” First Capital market analyst said.

The market turnover was 1.2 billion rupees.

Net foreign sales in the market were 343 million rupees on thin volumes.

Crossings in the market were witnessed in four counters – HNB Assurance, John Keells Holdings, and ACL Cables totaling to 218 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings contributed most to ASPI’s gain, trading 2.40 rupees up at 113.20 rupees a share.

Other stocks which contributed to ASPI’s gain were Cargills Ceylon stocks gained 8.40 rupees to trade at 193.40 rupees a share while Commercial Bank of Ceylon traded 1.80 rupees up at 76.80 rupees a share.

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Dealers said that the 2025 and 2026 maturities were illiquid for the past few days while the other maturities too did not show high liquidity due to stagnant market movement.

In the secondary government securities market, bond yields were up in very dull trading, dealers said.

“With the election tension just around the corner, the secondary market witnessed selling pressure during the day with low volumes as the market participants remained cautious and focused on reshaping the portfolios,” First Capital said.

A 2-year bond maturing on 15.12.2022 closed at 5.95/6.00 percent on Tuesday, up from 5.73/80 percent at Friday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.01.2023 closed at 6.02/05 percent up from 5.77/85 percent at Friday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 6.36/40 percent up from Friday’s closing at 6.22/32 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2025 closed at 6.60/70 percent on Tuesday, up from 6.52/62 percent at last week’s closing.

A bond maturing on 01.02.2026 closed at 6.65/80 percent, up from 6.55/65 percent from the previous close.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 7.00/10 percent, down from 7.02/12 percent on Friday.

A 10-year bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 7.37/45 percent, down from 7.40/45 percent on Friday. (Colombo/Aug04/2020)

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