Sri Lanka stocks end flat, rupee marginally weaker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed flat Thursday amidst gains in index-heavy banking stocks and John Keells Holdings, while the rupee weakened to about 171.30/50 rupees against the US dollar and gilt yields ended flat, market participants said.

Colombo’s All Share index closed 1.62 points higher at 5,778.37, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks gained a sharp 0.52 percent, up 15.11 points to 2,932.56.

"Turnover recorded at low levels due to low investor sentiment," Asia Securities said.

Market turnover was 151.8 million rupees, down from 448.3 million a day ago, with 45 stocks gaining during the day against 71 that declined.

John Keells Holdings (up 1.70 rupees to 131 rupees), Sampath Bank (up 4.80 rupees to 224.80 rupees) and Commercial Bank (up 70 cents to 110.70 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.

Hatton National Bank gained 80 cents to 201.10 rupees and Sathosa Motors ended 61.90 higher at 475.60 rupees.

Net foreign selling was 46.5 million rupees, down from 110.4 million rupees the previous day.

Net selling in John Keells Holdings was 52 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

There were no crossings, or off-market negotiated trades.

The rupee ended weaker at around 171.30/50 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on importer demand, market participants said.





The currency traded at an intraday low of 171.40 rupees.

The rupee closed Wednesday at around 170.00/05 rupees against the US dollar – steady from Tuesday’s at 170.90/171.10 closing – after the central bank announced that it raised a 1 billion US dollar loan from China Development Bank.

Gilt yields closed steady in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended at 10.98/11.07 percent in two-way quotes, narrowing from 10.90/11/10 percent the previous close.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 11.46/54 percent, slightly narrower from the previous closing of 11.45/55 percent. (COLOMBO, 18 October 2018)

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