Sri Lanka rupee opens sharply lower amid political crisis; bonds open wide

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee was quoted sharply lower Monday at 173.40/174.20 rupees to the US dollar in early spot market trading while bond yields were also wide, reflecting uncertainty amid a deepening political crisis, dealers said.

Stocks opened 0.77 percent higher amidst buying interest in John Keells Holdings and banking stocks.

The spot US dollar closed around 173.05/20 on Friday before President Maithripala Sirisena appointed ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.

A three-year bond maturing on 15.10.2021 was quoted at 11.00/50 percent, up from 10.85/95 percent Friday, dealers said.

A five-year bond maturing on 15 July 2023 was quoted at 11.50/12.45 percent, up from the previous day’s closing of 11.35/40 percent.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena is due to appoint a new cabinet of ministers, after suspending parliament Sunday.

Stocks surged 1.1 percent Friday, ahead of the event.

Colombo’s All Share index opened Monday 0.77 percent higher, up 44.84 points to 5,876.80, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained a sharp 2 percent, up 60.04 points to 3,057.37.

John Keells Holdings was up 3.90 rupees to 144 rupees, Sampath Bank gained 8.50 rupees to 240.40 rupees and Commercial  Bank was up 1.20 rupees to 111.50 rupees.

The United Nations, India, the US and EU have called for democracy and the constitution to be respected. (COLOMBO, 29 October 2018)





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