Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, stocks close 0.17 higher

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker at 180.90/181.00 rupees to the US dollar, while gilt yields gained and stocks closed 0.17 percent higher, market participants said.

In the spot market, the rupee closed at 180.60/70 rupees to the greenback on Thursday.

Liquidity in the overnight money market was 40.63 billion rupees, down from 45.98 billion rupees at Thursday’s close.

The central bank mopped up 5.35 billion rupees at 7.51 percent in an overnight repo auction.

In another repo auction, the central bank mopped up 10 billion rupees at 7.55 percent maturing in 4 days.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index gained 10.85 points to 6,211.97 and the S&P SL20 Index of most liquid stocks gained 0.10 percent or 2.92 points to 3,072.15 at the close.

Market turnover was 1.6 billion rupees with 82 stocks gaining and 84 falling.

John Keells Holdings gained 1.60 rupees to 169 rupees, Lion Brewery Ceylon closed 15 rupees higher at 639.40 rupees and Sampath Bank gained 2.70 rupees to 174.20 rupees, contributing to ASPI’s gain.

Sri Lanka has announced a series of tax cuts which is expected to boost corporate earnings but may expand the deficit for a few months.

The central bank held policy rates steady, saying it was watching the budget and recent tax cuts.

In the secondary market, gilt yields were up in an active market, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 closed at 8.65/80 percent on Friday, up from 8.60/88 percent at Thursday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2023 closed at 9.50/65 percent, gaining from 9.25/35 percent on Thursday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 closed at 9.99/95 percent, gaining from 9.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.10/25 percent, up from 9.95/10.05 percent on Thursday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2034 closed at 10.35/55 percent, gaining from 10.25/40 percent.

(Colombo, 29 November 2019)