Sri Lanka rupee weaker in early trading, stocks steady

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee opened weaker Thursday at 176.30/70 rupees against the US dollars in the spot market, as gilt yields edged higher amidst low volumes and stocks were steady amidst buying interest in Dialog, market participants said.

The spot market for US dollars was inactive on Monday and Tuesday. The rupee was last quoted in the spot market on Friday at 175.25/50 rupees against the greenback, weakening marginally from the previous closing of 175.00/50 rupees.

The forex market was relatively quiet amidst some import demand and foreign selling in government securities, while exporters were seen on the side lines, dealers said.

Markets were closed on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the currency was quoted at 176.50/80 rupees against the US dollar in seven-day forward contracts, weakening from Tuesday’s ending of 176.50/70 rupees.

Gilt yields were quoted slightly higher in the secondary market.

Foreign investors in government securities were net sellers the previous week booking profits on falling yields, dealers said.

A bond maturing in 2021 was quoted at 10.15/20 rupees in early trading, up from the previous closing of 10.10/15 percent.

The 2023 maturity was at 10.60/65 percent, up from 10.50/60 percent and the 2024 bond was quoted at 10.80/85 percent, easing marginally from Tuesday’s 10.80/87 percent close.

The 2026 bond edged up to 10.92/95 percent, from 10.88/97 and a bond maturing in 2029 was at 11.00/10 percent, steady from the previous close of 10.03/10 percent.

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In equities, Colombo’s All Share gained 0.05 percent, up 2.89 points to 5,481.30, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks was up 0.52 percent, gaining 13.64 points to 2,641.10.

Market turnover was 9.8 million rupees within the first hour of trading with 20 stocks gaining and 13 declining.

Dialog was trading 10 cents higher at 8.80 rupees and Dialog Finance was up 3.80 rupees to 37 rupees.

NDB Bank was up 1.90 rupees to 97 rupees and Chevron Lubricants Lanka gained 1.50 rupees to 62.50 rupees.

Trans Asia Hotels was down 5 rupees to 70 rupees and Asian Hotels and Properties was trading 1.70 rupees lower at 36 rupees. (COLOMBO, 2 May 2019-SB)

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