Sri Lanka rupee weakens, stocks end 0.59-pct lower
ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lank rupee closed weaker against the US dollar on Wednesday and stocks fell 0.59 percent amidst foreign selling in John Keells Holdings and Sampath Bank, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee reahed an intraday low of 162.70 rupees against the greenback before gaining to close at 162.40/60 against the US dollar in the spot market on Wednesday with export conversions and foreign selling in government bonds muting importer demand, dealers said.
The US dollar closed Tuesday at 162.30/40 rupees.
Excess liquidity rising since end July had pressured the currency but has seen a decline over the last few days.
Money markets were short 3.53 billion rupees on Wednesday, with the Central Bank injecting 12.36 billion rupees via reverse repo auction. Overnight money market liquidity was excess by 18.49 billion rupees the previous day.
Gilt yields edged higher in the secondary market for government bonds, as money market liquidity declined.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.18/22 percent in two-way quotes, up from the previous day’s close of 10.02/07 percent.
A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.48/58 percent, up from 10.30/45 percent the previous day.
In equities, Colombo’s All Share index fell 0.59 percent, down 36.23 points to 6,059, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks declined 1 percent, down 32.06 points 3,170.68.
During the day 94 stocks declined against 38 that gained on a market turnover of 967.75 million rupees, up from 337.3 million rupees the previous day.
Net foreign selling was 144.4 million rupees, compared to buying of 74.7 million rupees the previous day.
Ceylon Tobacco (down 23.90 rupees to 1,326 rupees), Distilleries (down 40 cents to 18.10 rupees) and John Keells Holdings (down 1.10 rupees to 135.90 rupees) weighed down the index.
Sampath Bank closed 4.90 rupees lower at 270 rupees) and HNB was down 3 rupees to 223 rupees.
Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 86 million rupees, followed by 48 million rupees in Sampath Bank, according to Asia Securities.
Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 497 million rupees, accounting for 51.3 percent of market turnover.
There was a crossing each in Cargills Ceylon (349.7 million rupees), John Keells Holdings (85.4 million rupees), Union Assurance (34.6 million rupees) and Sampath Bank (27.3 million rupees). (COLOMBO, 12 September 2018)