Sri Lanka stocks down 0.3-pct, rupee weaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks dropped marginally by 0.36 percent Friday, while the rupee weakened against the greenback and gilt yields edged higher, market participants said.

Colombo’s All Share index fell 0.36 percent to end 21.92 points lower at 6,092.21, and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed 0.39 percent lower, down 12.64 points to 3,208.43 points.

The rupee closed at 174.20/50 against the US dollar on Friday, after an intraday low of 174.50, and remained relatively stable, market participants said.

On Thursday the rupee closed at 174.00/40 against the greenback, rebounding sharply on intervention and dollar sales by banks, after falling to an intraday low of 175.75 rupees, market participants said.

In stocks turnover was 1.9 billion rupees, as 117 stocks declined during the day against the 47 that gained.

Stocks rose 2.70 percent on Thursday, the highest single-day gain in six years.
 
A vote is expected when parliament next meets to settle a power struggle between Mahinda Rajapaksa and RanilWickremesinghe, who both claim the premiership.

John Keells Holdings (down 3.40 rupees to 151 rupees), Distilleries (down 40 cents to 18.50 rupees) and Sampath Bank (down 6.30 rupees to 235 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Central Finance was down 5.30 rupees to 91 rupees and NDB Bank fell 5.10 rupees to 105 rupees.

Net foreign buying was 66.8 million rupees, compared to net selling of 572 million rupees the previous day.

Net foreign buying in Hatton National Bank was 227 million rupees, followed by Commercial Bank for 51 million rupees, Asia Securities said.

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Hatton National Bank had gained 5.20 rupees to 220 rupees and Commercial Bank was up 2.10 rupees to 123.90 rupees.

Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, totalled 936.1 million rupees and accounted for 48.9 percent of turnover.

There were four crossing in Hatton National Bank for 175.1 million rupees, two at Commercial Bank for 198.95 million rupees, two at Melstacorp for 194.4 million rupees, and two at NDB for 105 million rupees.

There was one crossing in John Keells Holdings for 185.3 million rupees, one at Sampath Bank for 47 million rupees, and one at Tokyo Cement for 30.3 million rupees.

Melstacorp ended 2.00 rupees up to 54 rupees, and Tokyo Cement was down 1.40 rupees to 27.90 rupees.

Gilt yields ended higher in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 closed at 11.00/15 percent in two-way quotes, up from Thursday’s closing of 10.90/11.00 percent.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 ended at 11.35/45 percent, up from the previous day’s 11.25/30 percent closing. (COLOMBO, 2 November 2018)
 

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