Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, stocks down 0.03-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker Thursday at 172.75/90 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market, while stocks ended a marginal 0.03 percent lower on selling interest in banking stocks, market participants said.

The rupee had traded at an intraday low of 172.90 rupees against the greenback.

The rupee ended Tuesday at around 172.50/70 rupees against the greenback, recovering from an intraday low of 173 rupees, but weaker from Monday’s closing of 172.30/60 rupees, market participants said. Markets were closed Wednesday for Poya.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share index fell 0.03 percent, down 1.98 points to 5,768.54, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended 0.19 percent lower, down 5.54 points to 2,926.69.

Market turnover was about 1.3 billion rupees as 43 stocks gained during the day against 61 that declined.

Hatton National Bank (down 3 rupees to 205 rupees), Commercial Bank (down 70 cents to 107.80 rupees) and DFCC Bank (down 2.20 rupees to 87 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index.

Sampath Bank closed 1.60 rupees lower at 222.50 rupees and Nations Trust Bank was down 1.90 rupees to 85.10 rupees.

NDB Bank fell 20 cents to 99 rupees while Seylan Bank shed 1.30 rupees to close at 66.50 rupees.

Union Bank had gained 40 cents to 11.40 rupees.

Super market chain Cargills ended 5 rupees lower at 195 rupees.





John Keells Holdings gained 2.20 rupees to 135.50 rupees and Ceylon Tobacco ended 4.80 rupees higher at 1,385 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 277.5 million rupees, up from 59.3 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 313 million rupees, according to Asia Securities, a Colombo-based stock brokerage.

Foreign investors were net buyers of small parcels in banking stocks: 13 million rupees in Sampath Bank and 11 million rupees in Commercial Bank.

There were eleven off-market negotiated deals, or crossings, in John Keells Holdings totalling 1.06 billion rupees, accounting for 85 percent of market turnover.

Gilt yields were mostly unchanged in lacklustre secondary market trading.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended at 10.85/95 percent in two-way quotes, unchanged from Tuesday’s closing.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 11.33/38 percent, edging lower from 11.34/42 percent the previous day. (COLOMBO, 25 October 2018)

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