Sri Lanka rupee gains after intervention, stocks marginally up
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee eased to 157.75/85 rupees against the US dollar on Thursday on state-names selling the greenback, while gilt yields edged up and stocks gained 0.08 percent with foreign buying in John Keells Holdings, dealers and brokers said.
The rupee was quoted at 157.85/158.00 rupees against the US dollar in early trading with actual trades taking place at 157.90 rupees. However, state-names, usually on behalf of the monetary authority, sold US dollars in the market to small banks at 157.85-rupee levels to ease the pressure on the currency.
The US dollar closed at 157.75/90 rupees the previous day.
The rupee came under pressure after the central bank cut rates and injected tens of billions of rupees into the banking system to enforce a rate cut, which fuelled import demand. The central bank has since mopped up a lot of the cash injected for the festival season.
Gilt yields edged up in the secondary bond market.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.30/35 percent in two-way quotes, up from 10.18/25 percent the previous day.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed higher at 10.52/58 percent, up from 10.45/50 percent the previous day.
The Colombo All Share index closed 0.08 percent higher, up 5.38 points to 6,524.02, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.30 percent higher, up 10.75 point to 3,653.54.
Market turnover was 463.2 million rupees, down 24.4 percent from the previous day.
Net foreign buying was 46.3 million rupees. Foreign selling was 18.3 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 62 million rupees, followed by 17 million rupees in Softlogic Holdings.
JKH closed 10 cents lower at 164.10 rupees and Softlogic Holdings gained 60 cents to 24 rupees.
Ceylon Tobacco (gaining 30 percent to 1,050 rupees), Dialog (up 10 cents to 14.50 rupees) and Overseas Realty (up 60 cents to 16.80 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
There was one off-market negotiated trade, or crossing, in JKH for 50.2 million rupees. (COLOMBO, 03 May, 2018)