Sri Lanka rupee opens firm, stocks gain
Thursday June 20, 2019 10:36
ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s rupee opened stronger at 176.65/75 percent against the US dollar in the spot market on Thursday, while bond yields were stable and stocks gained, dealers and brokers said.
The rupee closed on Wednesday at 176.70/75 against the greenback.
Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019, helped by recovery in agriculture, the state statistics office said on Wednesday.
Two dealers said the growth was stronger than expected. Economic growth is expected to slowdown in the second quarter following the Easter Sunday attack.
In the bond market, investors adopted a wait and see approach following US bond yields falling sharply over the past week, dealers said.
The US Fed yesterday said it will hold rates, but there is a strong case for a rate cut at the next meeting towards the end of July.
In the Sri Lankan secondary bond market, yields were stable in dull trading, while the two 2021 maturities were the most liquid, dealers said.
A bond maturing on 15.10.2021 was quoted at 9.60/64 percent on Thursday, stable from 60/65 percent at Wednesday’s close.
A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 was quoted at 9.62/66 percent, easing from 9.63/68 percent.
A bond maturing on 15.03.2023 was quoted at 10.00/10.05 percent, stable from 10.00/03 percent.
A bond maturing on 15.03.2024 was quoted at 10.15/20 percent on Thursday, flat from Wednesday’s close.
A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 was quoted at 10.38/43 percent, easing from 10.40/43 percent.
A bond maturing on 15.01.2027 was quoted at 10.48/53 percent, easing from 10.50/52 percent.
A 10-year bond maturing on 01.05.2029 was quoted at 10.55/60 percent, falling from 10.60/66 percent.
At the Colombo Stock Exchange, the All Share Price Index was trading 0.03 percent or 1.58 points up at 5,393.88 in a volatile market in the first hour of trading.
The more liquid S&P SL20 Index was down 0.18 percent or 4.42 points to 2,509.54.
Market turnover was 24.7 million rupees, with 23 stocks gaining and 20 falling.
LOLC Finance was contributing most to the ASPI gain, up 30 cents to 4 rupees with high retail activity on the stock, brokers said.
There were no crossings so far in the morning which were frequent over the past 4 days, brokers said. (Colombo/Jun20/2019)