Sri Lanka stocks end 0.57-pct lower, rupee weakens marginally

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.57 percent lower on Thursday amidst foreign selling in Ceylon Tobacco while the rupee weakened marginally to a new low of 171.35/45 rupees against the US dollar and gilt yields increased sharply, market participants said.

Colombo’s All Share index fell 0.57 percent, to end 33.54 points lower on Thursday at 5,838.48 amidst low volumes and the S&P SL20 index of more liquid stocks closed a sharp 1.14 percent lower, down 34.34 points to 2,965.82.

Market turnover was 301.7 million rupees as 83 stocks declined during the day against 33 that gained.

John Keells Holdings (down 1.90 rupees to 130 rupees), Sampath Bank (down 7.90 rupees to 228 rupees) and Ceylon Cold Stores (down 18.10 rupees to 752 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index decline.

Net foreign selling was 50.1 million rupees, compared to buying of 15.9 million rupees the previous day.

Foreign selling in Ceylon Tobacco was 33 million rupees, followed by 23 million rupees in Sampath Bank, according to Asia Securities.

Ceylon Tobacco closed unchanged at 1,375 rupees.

There was one crossing, or off-market negotiated trade, in Ceylon Tobacco for 32.7 million rupees.

The Sri Lanka rupee weakened to a new low of 171.35/45 rupees against the US dollars in the spot market, down from the previous close of 171.20/40 rupees.

The currency traded at an intraday low of 171.45 rupees against the greenback, market participants said.





Sri Lanka had widened dollar trading positions of some banks, which were recently slashed amid a run on the rupee.

Gilt yields edged higher in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended at 11.40/75 percent in two-way quotes, up sharply from 11.10/30 percent the previous day.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 11.85/95 percent, up from the previous closing of 11.35/45 percent. (COLOMBO, 11 October 2018)

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