Sri Lanka rupee steady, stocks end flat
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee was unchanged against the US dollar on Tuesday as subdued sentiment drove volumes down across markets with gilt yields mostly steady and stocks closing flat, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 159.30/35 rupees against the US dollar, unchanged from the previous day, on thin volumes in the spot market, dealers said.
"Sentiment is subdued and forex trades are cautiously quoted," a dealer said.
Gilt yields were steady in the secondary market for government bonds ahead of Wednesday’s Treasury bill auction.
"Volumes have been low over the last few days with investors waiting for clear direction on the economy" a dealer said.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.42/52 percent in two-way quotes, down marginally from 10.43/52 percent the previous day.
A year-ten year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.70/90 percent, up from 10.70/85 percent the previous day.
In equities, the Colombo All Share index gained a marginal 0.05 points to 6,077.37, while the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.22 percent higher, up 7.36 points to 3,305.59.
Market turnover was 142.7 million rupees, against the previous day’s turnover of 154.9 million rupees.
The day saw 43 stocks gain against 80 that declined.
Ceylon Tobacco (up 6.10 rupees to 1,120 rupees), DFCC Bank (up 3.90 rupees to 104.20 rupees) and HNB (up 1.80 rupees to 220 rupees) contributed to the marginal gain of the benchmark index.
Commercial Bank gained 50 cents to 125 rupees and Sampath Bank closed 10 cents higher at 294.30.
There was one crossing, or off-market negotiated trade, in HNB for 21.3 million rupees.
Net foreign buying was 1.7 million rupees, compared to selling of 22.9 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying was 3 million rupees in John Keells Holdings (unchanged at 142 rupees). (COLOMBO, 10 July 2018)