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Sri Lanka stocks fall 0.45-pct, rupee weakens

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.45 percent lower Monday with foreign buying seen in Softlogic Holdings, and the rupee weakened against the US dollar on uncertainty after shock election results over the weekend, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee closed at 154.90/95 against the US dollar in the spot market, weakening from Friday’s close of 154.28/35 due to political uncertainty, dealers said.

"We didn’t see much outflows from stocks or bond markets, neither was there importer demand, this was purely a reaction to the election results," one dealer said.

Bond yields spiked during the day across all maturities.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 was quoted at 9.60/70 percent, up from 9.33/40 percent on Friday.

An eight-year bond maturing in 2026 was quoted at 10.00/20 percent, up from 9.77/85 percent the previous close.

The Colombo All Share index closed 29.30 points lower at 6,542.99. The S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.41 percent lower, down 15.21 points to 3,714.97.

"Investors were subdued after the eye-opening local government elections over the weekend," said Sumith Perera, Head of Portfolio at Ceylon Guardian.

Market turnover was 597.6 million rupees, up 32.3 percent from the previous close.

Foreign buying was 289.2 million rupees, up from 90.7 million rupee on Friday.





"This was largely due to buying in Softlogic Holdings, otherwise foreign activity was fairly muted," said Sumith Perera, Head of Portfolio at Ceylon Guardian.

Foreign buying in Softlogic was 248 million rupees, and 49 million rupees in Sampath Bank.

Softlogic closed 1.90 rupees higher at 20 rupees and accounted for nearly 43 percent of market turnover.

Sampath Bank closed 10 cents lower at 319.90 rupees.

Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, totalling 182. 4 million rupees, was 30 percent of market turnover.

Three crossings in Softlogic amounted to 150 million rupees and one in Sampath Bank amounted to 31.9 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings (closing 3.20 rupees lower at 155.30 rupees), Sri Lanka Telecom (down 1.10 rupees to 28.10 rupees), Cargills (down 6.80 rupees to 200.20) and Commercial Bank (down 1.40 rupees to 136.60 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index. (COLOMBO, February 12, 2018)

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