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Sri Lanka rupee quoted weaker, gilt yields down

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s rupee was quoted weaker 182.10/15 to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday while bond yields down marginally and stocks up 0.58 percent, dealers said.

The rupee ended at 182.00/15 to the greenback on Monday.
In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 32.58 points to 5,646.87 and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks climbed 1.32 percent or 35.01 points to 2,681.98, in the first hour of trade.

The market turnover was 56.5 billion rupees in the meantime 67 stocks gained and 16 fell.

Heavyweights at the Colombo Stock Exchange, John Keells Holdings stocks quoted higher 1.70 rupees to 149.90 rupees a share, Hatton National Bank reaped 6.70 rupees to 151.50 rupees a share and Sri Lanka Telecom stocks up 30 cents at 29.60 rupees a share, contributing to ASPI’s gain.

Liquidity in the overnight money market on Monday was 51.73 billion rupees, up from 43.98 billion rupees at Friday’s close.

In the government securities market, bond yields eased marginally in moderate trade while 2024 maturities remained liquid, dealers said.

Dealers said the local market eased due to the upcoming election sentiments while global markets stabilized.

Sri Lanka’s president dissolved the parliament early today, calling for polls to be held on April 25, 2020.

President Gotabaya Rajapakse now has the authority to allocate money for elections and day-to-day expenditure operations of the government for three months.

After winning Presidential elections in November, Rajapaksa has depended on the opposition to pass legislation and has not yet passed a budget for 2020.

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An attempt to expand a four month mini-budget was abandoned at the last minute in late February after the opposition refused to raise the debt limit.

Giving effect to elections promises, taxes have been slashed by the revenue office, pending parliamentary sanction.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is also having its second monetary policy review on March 5th, 2020.

Globally, stock markets bounced backed anticipating Central Banks worldwide to cut rates in a measure to boost liquidity in the markets and contain coronavirus impact on the economy.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 was quoted at 9.70/90 percent on Tuesday, falling from 9.75/95 percent at Monday’s close.

A bond maturing on 01.09.2023 was quoted at 9.25/35 percent, down from 9.35/45 percent at its previous close.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 was quoted at 9.65/72 percent on Tuesday, falling from 9.70/74 percent at Monday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 was quoted at 9.80/95 percent easing from 9.85/95 percent at it’s the previous close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 remained flat at 9.90/10.10 percent on Tuesday from Monday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2034 was quoted unchanged at 9.90/10.20 percent from its last close. (Colombo/Mar03/2020)

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