Sri Lanka stocks surge 2.7-pct, rupee in sharp gain

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks balloooned 2.70 percent to cross the 6,000-point psychological barrier Thursday, while the rupee was seen gaining sharply against the US dollar, market participants said.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to reopen parliament on Monday in a move that could lead to a vote to resolve the power struggle between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe, both claiming the premier post.

Colombo’s All Share index closed 160.66 points higher at 6,114.13, according to preliminary data, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended a sharp 4.66 percent higher, up 143.58 points to 3,227.66.

Market turnover was 1.5 billion rupees with 164 stocks gaining while 28 had declined.

John Keells Holdings (up 4.70 rupees to 154.40 rupees), Distilleries (up 90 cents to 18.90 rupees) and LOLC Holdings (up 8.50 rupees to 100 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index surge.

Hatton National Bank had gained 9.70 rupees to 214.80 rupees and Commercial Bank was up 3.90 rupees to 121.80 rupees.

The most traded stock was Access Engineering with nearly six million shares traded. The stock ended 1.90 rupees higher at 17.50 rupees.

The Sri Lanka rupee gained sharply during the day and was trading at around 174.00/30 rupees against the US dollar late afternoon in the spot market amidst some intervention and banks selling US dollars, market participants said.

The rupee ended Wednesday at 175.60/80 rupees against the greenback.

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Gilt yields were seen easing in the secondary market.

A three-year bond maturing in 2021 was trading at 10.90/11.00 percent in two-way quotes, down from Wednesday’s closing of 11.10/30 percent.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 was trading at 11.23/33 percent, down from the previous day’s 11.30/40 percent closing.

(COLOMBO, 01 November 2018)

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