Sri Lanka stocks open higher rupee weaker, gilt yields up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee was quoted weaker at 181.00/181.20 to the US dollar, while gilt yields gained and stocks opened 0.39 percent higher, dealers said.

In the spot market, the rupee closed at 180.60/70 to the greenback on Thursday.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share Price Index gained 23.96 points to 6,225.08 and the S&P SL20 Index of most liquid stocks gained 0.55 percent or 17.00 points to 3,086.23 in the first hour of trade.

Market turnover was 161 million rupees with 45 stocks gaining and 38 falling.

John Keells Holdings gained 3.50 rupees to 170.90 rupees a share, Dialog gained 40 cents to 13.80 rupees a share and Sri Lanka Telecom was up 1.60 rupees to 34.00 rupees, contributing to ASPI’s gain.

Sri Lanka has announced a series of tax cuts which is expected to boost corporate earnings, but may expand the deficit for a few months.

The central bank held policy rates steady, saying it was watching the budget and recent tax cuts.

In the secondary market, gilt yields were up in an active market, dealers said.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2021 was quoted at 8.65/85 percent on Friday, up from 8.60/88 percent at Thursday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.07.2023 was quoted at 9.25/40 percent, stable from 9.25/35 percent on Thursday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2024 was quoted at 9.87/95 percent, gaining from 9.70/80 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 was quoted at 10.05/15 percent, up from 9.95/10.05 percent on Thursday.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2034 was quoted at 10.35/65 percent, gaining from 10.25/40 percent.

(Colombo/Nov29/2019)