Sri Lanka stocks close 0.43-pct lower, rupee steady

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee closed steady against the US dollar Wednesday on export conversions and falling excess liquidity in money markets dampening import demand, as stocks closed 0.43 percent lower on foreign selling in John Keells Holdings, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee closed at 160.15/25 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market, unchanged from the previous close, on export conversions strengthening the currency after it hit an intra-day low of 160.20/30 rupees on importer demand, dealers said.

Excess liquidity in money markets was seen fuelling importer demand in recent days, but overnight liquidity fell 13.9 billion rupees to 40.7 billion rupees on Wednesday.

The Central Bank mopped-up 24.4 billion via a repo auction during the day.

Banks with excess liquidity also parked 22.63 billion rupees in the Central Bank’s overnight window.

Excess liquidity was 27.71 billion rupees a month earlier.

Yields closed flat in the secondary market for government securities.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 9.85/90 percent unchanged from the previous day.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.15/25 percent, marginally up from 10.15/23 percent the previous day.





In equities, the Colombo All Share index fell 0.43 percent, down 26.26 points to 6,086.74, as shares of 90 companies declined and 42 gained. The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.23 percent lower, down 7.41 points to 3,267.75.

Market turnover was 238.17 million rupees, down from 380.42 million rupees the previous day.

Net foreign selling was 125.3 million rupees, compared to buying of 112.5 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 130 million rupees, followed by 3 million rupees in Sampath Bank, according to Asia Securities.

Foreign buying in Commercial Bank was 7 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings closed 60 cents lower at 139.90 rupees.

Commercial Bank closed 50 cents lower at 123.50 rupees and Sampath Bank closed 1.40 rupees higher at 280 rupees.

BRAC Lanka Finance (down 7.80 rupees to 37.10 rupees) and Ceylon Tobacco (down 9.70 rupees to 1,250.20 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Ceylon Cold Stores closed 15 rupees lower at 925 rupees and Hemas Holdings was down 2.30 rupees to 96 rupees. (COLOMBO, 15 August 2018)

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