Sri Lanka rupee opens weaker, as stocks gain 0.22-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee opened weaker against the US dollar Tuesday nearing 162 rupees against the US dollar on importer demand, as stocks gained 0.22 percent, dealers said.

The rupee was trading at 161.80/90 rupees in two-way quotes against the greenback in early trading Tuesday.

The US dollar closed Monday at 161.65/70 rupees.

In recent weeks excess liquidity in money markets was fuelling importer demand. 

Excess overnight money market liquidity was at 21.33 billion rupees down 5.3 billion from a day earlier, with some term repo cash due to come to the market later in the week. If the central bank buys dollars to prevent the rupee going up and create liquidity,and does not follow through by selling dollars, the rupee weakens.

 
Dealers say the central bank has not intervened in recent days, though some excess money has been mopped up.

Gilt yields opened flat in the secondary market for government securities.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 opened firmer at 9.90/96 percent in two-way quotes, compared to the previous day’s closing of 9.86/97 percent.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 was trading at a narrow range of 10.22/28 percent, compared to the previous day’s closing of 10.18/27 percent.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share index opened 0.22 percent higher, up 13.55 points to 6,105, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained 0.24 percent, up 7.70 points to 3,240.02.

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Ceylon Tobacco was up 33.30 rupees to 1,375 rupees, Chevron Lubricants Lanka gained 2 rupees to 79 rupees and Hemas Holdings was trading 50 cents higher at 92.50 rupees. (COLOMBO, 04 September 2018)

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