Sri Lanka rupee near record lows, stocks flat
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed near its all time low Tuesday, while gilt yields increased on low volumes and stocks closed flat with foreign buying in property, dealers and brokers said.
The rupee closed at 157.75/90 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market, close to Friday’s 157.80/90 rupees, after trading within a narrow range during the day, dealers said.
Sri Lanka’s central bank triggered a small run on the rupee by printing billions of rupees to enforce a rate cut on top of seasonal cash demands in April. The central bank mopped up 7.5 billion rupees through a repo auction Tuesday and on Friday it permanently sterilizing about 19 billion rupees it had printed through Treasury bill purchases.
Gilt yields increased amid low trading volumes in the secondary bond market, dealers said.
A five year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.15/25 percent in two-way quotes, up from Friday’s closing of 10.15/20 percent.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.35/45 percent, up from 10.35/40 percent the previous close.
The Colombo All Share index closed 2.88 points higher, up 0.04 percent to 6,533.94, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.19 percent higher, up 7.10 points to 3,653.
Market turnover was 502.7 million rupees, down 46.7 percent from the previous close.
Dialog (up 30 cents to 14.50 rupees), Distilleries (gaining 40 cents to 22.40 rupees) and Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 10 cents to 2.90 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Commercial Bank closed 1.20 rupees lower to 134 rupees and John Keells Holdings was down 60 cents to 163.90 rupees.
Net foreign buying was 287.9 million rupees, compared with selling of 53 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in RIL Property was 270 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. The stock closed 10 cents lower at 7.50 rupees.
One crossing in RIL Property at 288 million rupees accounted for 55.6 percent of market turnover. (COLOMBO, 01 May, 2018)