Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, stocks down 0.96-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker Monday at 177.60/68 rupees against the US dollar in spot-next forwards, as gilt yields eased and stocks ended 0.96 percent lower on selling interest in John Keells Holdings and Lions Brewery Ceylon.

The rupee ended Friday at 177.35/50 rupees against the greenback in spot-next forwards.

The spot market for dollars was active for a brief period with the currency ending at 177.50/70 rupees.

The spot market was inactive last week except for a short while on Thursday when the dollar was quoted at 176.60 rupees.

Gilt yields in the secondary market eased.

A bond maturing in 2021 closed at 9.98/10.04 percent, down from the previous close of 10.00/10 percent, and a 2022 bond closed lower at 10.08/15 percent, from the previous closing of 10.25/32 percent.

A 2023 maturity closed at 10.38/49 percent, down from 10.50/55 percent, and a 2024 bond ended at 10.61/69 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.72/75 percent.

A bond maturing in 2029 closed at 10.98/11.05 percent, down from previous closing of 11.05/11.08 percent.

In equities, Colombo’s benchmark All Share index closed 52.48 points lower, down 0.96 percent to 5,386.27, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks ended 1.17 percent lower, down 30.75 points to 2587.20.

Market turnover was 441 million rupees, up from Friday’s close of 111 million rupees, with 31 stocks gaining and 89 declining.





John Keells Holdings (down 5.50 rupees to 139.50 rupees) and Lion Brewery Ceylon (down 76.70 rupees to 503.30 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Negative local sentiment on tourism, logistics, and insurance drove down John Keells Holdings but foreign investors were there on the buy-side, Shiyam Subaulla, Co-head, Broking at Asia Securities said.

Less than 900 shares of Lion Brewery had traded in the day.

Sampath Bank ended 2.70 rupees lower at 153.80 rupees and Commercial Bank was down 70 cents to 91.90 rupees.

Dialog gained 10 cents to 8.90 rupees and DFCC Bank was up 50 cents to 71.50 rupees.

Two off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, in Cargo Boat Development Company of 80.1 million rupees contributed 18.1 percent to the market turnover.

Net foreign selling was 75.2 million rupees, down from 17.7 million rupees the previous day.

Net foreign selling in Hemas Holdings was 93.7 million rupees while foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 29.7 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. (Colombo, 06 May, 2019-SB)



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