Sri Lanka rupee weakens, stocks end 0.22-pct higher
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee continues to weaken closing Monday at a new low of around 180.10/30 rupees against the US dollar amidst a deepening political crisis, and stocks ended 0.22 percent higher on buying interest in diversified holdings, market participants said.
The currency traded at an intraday low of 180.40 rupees against the greenback in the spot market.
The rupee ended Friday at around 179.50/180.00 rupees to the US dollar.
Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena said he will not reappoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister even if there is a no-confidence motion to his satisfaction against Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Meanwhile on Monday the island’s Court of Appeal accepted a 26-page petition filed by 122 legislators against disputed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and 48 others who have been named as ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in a purported government.
The case is to be taken up for the preliminary hearing on Friday.
Colombo’s All Share index gained 0.22 percent, up 13.09 points to 5,943.07, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.44 percent higher, up 13.64 points to 3,116.98.
Market turnover was 736.7 million rupees with 73 stocks gaining during the day against 42 that declined.
John Keells Holdings (up 1.90 rupees to 156 rupees), Melstacorp (up 70 cents to 53.20 rupees) and Nations Trust Bank (up 3.20 rupees to 90.20 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Sunshine Holdings gained 3.20 rupees to 55 rupees.
Net foreign buying was 17.1 million rupees, against selling of 51.4 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying in Sampath Bank was 35.7 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 48.4 million rupees.
Sampath Bank gained 1.70 rupees to 231.70 rupees.
Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings amounted to 471 million rupees, with on in Vidullanka for 300 million rupees, two in John Keells Holdings for 89.5 million rupees and one each in Sampath Bank for 57.3 million rupees and Commercial Bank for 23.9 million rupees.
Vidullanka closed unchanged at 4.70 rupees and Commercial Bank ended 50 cents higher at 113 rupees.
Bond yields were ended relatively steady on dull activity levels in the secondary market.
A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended at 11.85/12.00 percent, up marginally from Friday’s closing of 11.85/90 percent.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 12.05/25 percent, narrowing from 12.00/25 percent the previous close.
A bond maturing in 2027 ended at 12.45/50 percent, unchanged from Friday. (COLOMBO, 26 November 2018)