Sri Lanka rupee weakens, stocks end 0.12-pct lower

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee weakened sharply to close at a new low of 177.30/50 rupees against the US dollar on Monday while stocks ended slightly weaker amidst foreign selling in Commercial Bank and Dialog, as the country enters into the fourth week of a constitutional crisis.

 The currency traded at an intraday low of 177.35 rupees in the spot market for US dollar, market participants said.

The rupee closed 176.50/65 rupees against the greenback on Friday.

Colombo’s All Share index closed 0.12 percent lower, down 7.53 points to 5,947.90, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended 0.14 percent higher, up 4.56 points to 3,114.06.

Market turnover was 299.6 million rupees with 66 stocks declining during the day against 52 that gained.

Singer Sri Lanka (down 2.90 rupees to 29 rupees), Commercial Bank (down 1.10 rupees to 113 rupees) and Union Assurance (down 16.40 rupees to 303 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Dialog was down 10 cents to 11.50 rupees and LOLC Finance also ended 10 cents lower at 3.50 rupees.

Among the gainers, Melstacorp closed 1 rupee higher at 53 rupees and Aitken Spence also gained 1 rupee to 47 rupees.

Sampath Bank gained 3.40 rupees to 233.60 rupees and Hatton National Bank edged 1.30 rupees to 215.30 rupees.

There were two crossings, or off market negotiated trades: one in John Keells Holdings for 48.4 million rupees and RIL Property for 23 million rupees.





John Keells Holdings gained 20 cents to 153.10 rupees and RIL Property closed unchanged at 7 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 147 million rupees, up from 55.5 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in Commercial Bank was 81 million rupees, following by 51 million rupees in John Keells Holdings and 16 million rupees in Dialog, according to First Capital Research.

In bonds, gilt yields edged higher in the secondary market.

A five year bond maturing in 2023 ended higher at 11.70/85 percent, down from 11.65/80 percent the previous close.

A bond maturing in 2027 closed lower at 12.25/30 percent, slighly up from the previous closing of 12.22/32 percent. (COLOMBO, 19 November 2018)



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