Sri Lanka stocks gain 0.74-pct, rupee weakens

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.74 percent higher Tuesday on gains in Distilleries and Ceylon Cold Stores and foreign buying in John Keells Holdings, while the rupee weakened against the US dollar, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee weakened to 156.40/50 rupees against the US dollar with seasonal inflows tapering, dealers said. The US dollar closed at 155.95/156.10 rupees the previous day.

Gilt yields were mostly stable ahead of Wednesday’s Treasury bill auction, dealers said.

A one year bond saw two-way quotes increase to 9.60/70 percent, up from 9.55/65 percent the previous day.

A five year bond maturing in 2023 saw yields fall marginally to 9.95/10 percent in two way quotes, down from the previous day’s 9.97/10.02 percent closing.

A ten year bond maturing on 2028 was quoted at 10.25/30 percent, unchanged from 10.25/30 the previous close.

The Colombo All Share Index gained 47.81 points to 6,544.25, while the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.44 percent higher, up 16.33 points to 3,687.62.

Market turnover was 315.4 million rupees, up from 102 million rupees the previous day.

Distilleries (gaining 2.10 rupees to 22.60), Ceylon Cold Stores (up 20 rupees to 950) and Ceylinco Insurance (up 88.80 rupees to 1,798.50) contributed to the benchmark index gain.

Net foreign buying was 9.5 million rupees, compared to selling of 8.1 million rupees the previous day.





Foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 8.9 million rupees, according to Asia Securities, followed by 6 million rupees in Softlogic Holdings.

JKH gained 50 cents to 159.50 rupees and Softlogic closed 70 cents higher at 24 rupees.

Off-market negotiated trades, or crossings, totalled 165.6 million rupees accounting for 52.5 percent of market turnover.

Three crossings in Amana Takaful amounted to 76 million rupees, one in Ceylinco Insurance (non-voting) was 68.6 million rupees and one in Teejay Lanka was 21 million rupees.

All three stocks closed unchanged from the previous day: Amana Takaful at 80 cents, Ceylinco Insurance at 990 rupees and Teejay at 32.10 rupees. (COLOMBO, 17 April, 2018)

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