Sri Lanka stocks up 0.37-pct, rupee ends weaker
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed 0.37 percent higher Thursday on financial stocks amidst foreign selling in John Keells Holdings, while the rupee weakened to a new low of 170.00/25 rupees against the US dollar and gilt yields ended higher, market participants said.
Colombo’s All Share index gained 0.37 percent closing 21.77 points higher at 5,835.60, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended 0.31 percent higher, up 9.06 points to 2,978.66.
Market turnover was 319.02 million rupees with 103 stocks gaining against 46 that declined on a dull trading day.
Commercial Leasing and Finance (up 10 cents to 2.70 rupees), John Keells Holdings (up 30 cents to 132.60 rupees) and AIA Insurance (up 15 rupees to 915 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Net foreign selling was 97.34 million rupees, up from 1.4 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign selling in John Keells Holdings was 107 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.
There was one crossing, or off-market negotiated trade, in John Keells Holding for 99 million rupees which was 31 percent of market turnover.
The rupee closed at a new low Thursday at 170.00/25 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on import demand and banks selling the greenback, falling to an intraday low of 170.10 rupees, market participants said.
The rupee closed Wednesday at 169.65/95 rupees against the US dollar.
The Central Bank injected 23.01 billion rupees to the money market via term and overnight repos and banks borrowing from its overnight window.
The money market liquidity shortfall dropped by a sharp 29.78 billion rupees from a day earlier to 5.83 billion rupees on Thursday.
Gilt yields rose in the secondary market.
A three-year bond maturing in 2021 ended at 10.70/80 percent, up from the previous close of 10.60/68 percent.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.92/11.00 percent, up from 10.85/90 percent a day earlier. (COLOMBO, 04 October 2018)