Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker in forwards, stocks down 0.36-pct


ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker at 177.10/30 rupees against the US dollar in seven-day forwards Thursday, while stocks ended a five-day rally to close 0.36 percent lower on selling interest in John Keells Holdings and Ceylon Cold Stores, market participants said.

The currency ended at 176.50/70 rupees in seven-day forwards against the greenback on Tuesday.

The forex market was relatively quiet Thursday amidst some import demand and foreign selling in government securities, while exporters were seen on the side lines, market participants said.

Overnight market liquidity rose to 69.65 billion rupees, up from 54.01 billion the previous day, and was a two-year high, market participants said.

Markets were closed on Wednesday.

The spot market which was inactive on Monday and Tuesday saw some activity on Thursday with the dollar trading at 176.60 rupees.

The rupee was last quoted in the spot market on Friday at 175.25/50 rupees against the greenback, weakening marginally from the previous closing of 175.00/50 rupees.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share ended 0.36 percent lower, down 19.63 points to 5,458.78, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks declined 4.29 points, down 0.16 percent, to 2,623.17 points.

Market turnover was 148.6 million rupees, with 53 stocks gaining against 49 that declined.





John Keells Holdings (down 2.70 rupees to 147 rupees), Ceylon Cold Stores (down 21.90 rupees to 578 rupees) and LOLC Holdings (down 3.50 rupees to 86.40 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Melstacorp had gained 2 rupees to end at 39 rupees and Asiri Hospital Holdings was up 80 cents to 20.80 rupees.

Net foreign buying was 9.4 million rupees, down from 39.9 million rupees the previous day.

Net foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 25.5 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

There were no crossing, or off-market negotiated trades during the day.

Bond yields ended mixed in the secondary market.

A bond maturing in 2021 closed at 10.08/15 percent, steady from the previous closing of 10.10/15 percent.

The 2023 maturity ended at 10.58/61 percent, up from 10.50/60 percent and the 2024 bond was at 10.77/82 percent, easing from Tuesday’s 10.80/87 percent close.

The 2026 bond edged lower to 10.88/92 percent, from 10.88/97 and a bond maturing in 2029 ended at 11.03/10 percent, steady from the previous close of 10.03/10 percent. (COLOMBO, 02 May 2019)


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