ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka stocks closed flat Monday amidst gains in John Keells Holdings and Ceylon Cold Stores as the rupee closed at a new low of 172.30/60 rupees against the US dollar and gilt yields edged lower, market participants said.
Colombo’s All Share index gained 0.09 percent, up 4.91 points to 5,766.00 and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks ended 0.13 percent higher, up 3.85 points to 2,920.67.
Market turnover was 215.8 million rupees amidst low volumes due to dampened sentiment with 47 stocks gaining during the day against 62 that declined.
John Keells Holdings (up 1.30 rupees to 130.80 rupees), Ceylon Cold Stores (up 16.20 rupees to 755.30 rupees) and Dialog (up 10 cents to 11.50 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
Net foreign selling was 59.3 million rupees, up from 8.06 million rupees last Friday.
Foreign selling in Melstacorp was 81 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. Foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 13 million rupees.
There was one crossing, or off-market negotiated trade, in Melstacorp for 66.6 million rupees. The stock ended unchanged at 50 rupees.
The rupee weakened to a new low of 172.30/60 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market Monday on importer demand, market participants said.
The currency traded at an intraday low of 172.52 rupees to the US dollar.
The rupee ended Friday at 171.65/80 rupees against the greenback.
Gilt yields edged lower in the secondary market ahead of the weekly Treasury bill auction.
A three-year bond maturing in 2021 edged lower to 10.70/80 percent, down from the previous closing of 10.75/85 percent.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 ended at 11.20/28 percent, up from the previous close of 11.26/34 percent. (COLOMBO, 22 October 2018)