Sri Lanka stocks down 0.35-pct: provisional data

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks ended 0.35 percent lower on Friday, according to provisional data, failing to sustain a record surge the previous day after hopes were shattered that the constitutional crisis would be resolved by Monday.

Colombo’s All Share index closed 21.60 points lower at 6,092.53 and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks ended 0.09 percent lower, down 2.99 points to 3,218.08.

Market turnover was 1.9 billion rupees as 112 stocks declined during the day, with 50 gaining.

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) weighed down the benchmark index.

Stocks ballooned 2.70 percent on Thursday, the highest single-day gain in six years, after president Maithripala Sirisena had agreed to reopen parliament on Monday, stoking hopes that it would lead to a vote to settle a power struggle between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe, both claiming the premier post.

However, the president’s party made a U-turn and said parliament would be prorogued till 16 November. However, on Friday, the speaker of parliament said president Sirisena had again agreed to reconvene parliament next Wednesday.

"It’s hard to be sure what’s going on, and this is unsettling for markets," a broker said.

The rupee which gained sharply on Thursday was steady with at least one hour left for money markets to close.

The rupee was trading firmer at 174.20/40 rupees against the US dollar in late afternoon spot market trading.

The currency ended Thursday at 174.00/40 rupees 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.

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Bond yields were seen edging higher in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 was quoted at 10.95/11.05 percent, up marginally from the previous day’s closing of 10.90/11.00 percent.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 was at 11.38/45 percent, up from 11.25/30 percent a day earlier. (COLOMBO, 02 November 2018)

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