Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, stocks down 0.37-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee ended weaker at 177.45/60 rupees against the US dollar in seven-day forwards, as gilt yields eased and stocks fell 0.37 percent on selling interest in John Keells Holdings and Distilleries, market participants said.

The rupee closed Thursday at 177.10/30 rupees against the greenback in seven-day forwards, weakening from 176.50/70 rupees in the previous close.

Import demand and foreign selling in government securities is generating demand for the greenback, market participants said.

The spot market was inactive after briefly trading on Thursday at 176.60 rupees to the dollar.

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

Gilt yields edged lower in the secondary market.

A bond maturing in 2021 ended at 10.00/10 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.10/15 percent, and a 2022 bond closed lower at 10.25/33 percent, down from 10.30/40 percent.

The 2023 maturity ended at 10.50/55 percent, down from 10.58/62 percent, and the 2024 ended at 10.70/75 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.78/83 percent.

The 2029 bond closed unchanged at 11.05/10 percent.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share ended 20.03 points lower, down 0.37 percent to 5,438.75, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks fell 5.22 points, down 0.20 percent to 2,617.95.

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Market turnover was 111 million rupees with 75 stocks declining against 52 that gained.

Selling in John Keells Holdings (down 2 rupees to 145 rupees), Distilleries (down 30 cents to 14.20 rupees) and Dilmah Ceylon Tea (down 58.10 rupees to 540.50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Commercial Bank closed 1 rupee higher at 92.60 rupees and Softlogic Holdings gained 30 cents to 15.90 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 17.7 million rupees, down from buying of 9.4 million rupees the previous day.

Net foreign selling Chevron Lubricants Lanka was 10.9 million rupees. Selling in Hemas Holdings also amounted to 10.9 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

Chevron was unchanged at 61 rupees and Hemas Holdings was unchanged at 72.50 rupees.

There were no crossings, or off-market negotiated trades. (COLOMBO, 03 May 2019-SB)

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