Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, stocks down 0.26-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee weakened against the US dollar on Tuesday on import demand fuelled by excess liquidity in money markets, as stocks closed 0.26 percent lower amidst foreign in buying in John Keells Holdings and banking stocks, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee weakened to 160.15/25 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on importer demand for the greenback, dealers said.

The US dollar closed Monday at 160.00/05 rupees.

Import demand was fuelled by excess rupee liquidity in money markets, dealers said.

Overnight money market liquidity had increased 17.46 billion rupees since 01 August to 54.58 billion rupees on Tuesday.

The Central Bank absorbed 35 billion rupees from the market via a repo auction on Tuesday.

Gilt yields eased in the secondary market for government securities.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed lower at 9.85/90 percent on Tuesday, down from 9.86/94 percent the previous close.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed marginally lower at 10.15/23 percent, down from Monday’s closing of 10.15/25 percent.





The Colombo All Share index fell 0.26 percent, down 15.82 points to 6,113.00, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed a sharp 0.82 percent lower, down 27.03 points to 3,275.16.

John Keells Holdings (down 1.40 rupees to 140.50 rupees) and Lanka Orix Leasing (down 4 rupees to 85.90 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Melstacorp closed 1.50 rupees lower at 50 rupees and Commercial Bank was down 1.20 rupees to 124 rupees.

Market turnover was 380.42 million rupees, up from a turnover of 242.15 million rupees the previous day, with 98 stocks declining on the day against 35 that gained.

Net foreign buying was 112.52 million rupees, up from 36.8 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 65 million rupees, followed by 39 million rupees in Commercial Bank, Asia Securities said.

Foreign buying was also seen in HNB at 17 million rupees and Sampath Bank at 4 million rupees.

HNB closed 1.30 rupees lower at 220.70 rupees and Sampath Bank was down 1.50 rupees at 278.60 rupees.

Two crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, in John Keells Holdings totalled 69.2 million rupees and was 18.2 percent of market turnover. (COLOMBO, 14 August 2018)


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