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Sri Lanka rupee falls to new low, stocks gain 0.18-pct

Economy Next – 17.08.2018

By First Capital Research

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee ended at a new low against the US dollar on Monday as stocks gained 0.18 percent to a three-week high on buying interest in Dialog, Lanka Orix Leasing and HNB, brokers and dealers said.

The rupee closed at an all-time low of 161.65/70 rupees in two-way quotes against the US dollar in the spot market on importer demand and strengthening of the greenback in global markets, dealers said.

The US dollar closed Friday at 161.45/50 rupees.

Excess liquidity in money markets has been fuelling importer demand in recent weeks.

Excess overnight money market liquidity was down 5.31 billion on Monday to 21.33 billion rupees, still higher than 10.29 billion rupees on 25 July, when the US dollar traded at 159.60/65 rupees.

Bond yields closed mixed on low trading volumes in the secondary market for government bonds, dealers said.

A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 9.86/97 percent in two-way quotes up from 9.88/95 percent the previous close.

A ten-year bond maturing in 2028 closed at 10.18/27 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.20/28 percent.

In equities, Colombo’s All Share index gained 0.18 percent to close 11.19 points higher at 6,091.45, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.10 percent higher, up 3.11 points to 3,232.32.

“The bourse continued in a positive sentiment for the fourth consecutive day recording a near three-week high,” First Capital Research said.

Market turnover was 404.2 million rupees, down from Friday’s turnover of 639 million rupees.

Net foreign selling was 4.98 million rupees, against 99.8 million rupees on Friday.

Foreign selling in Dialog was 30 million rupees, according to Asia Securities.

Dialog (up 20 cents to 12.20 rupees), Lanka Orix Leasing (up 3 rupees to 90 rupees), HNB (up 2.90 rupees to 224.80 rupees) and Hemas Holdings (up 1.90 rupees to 92 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.

Crossings, off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 253.8 million rupees, which was 62.8 percent of market turnover.

One crossing in Lion Brewery amounted to 211.9 million rupees and two in HNB were 42 million rupees.

Lion Brewery closed 5 rupees higher at 650 rupees. (COLOMBO, 03 September 2018)