ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lanka rupee ended slightly weaker at 174.60/70 rupees against the US dollar on Monday, as bond yields edged higher and stocks gained 0.12 percent on buying interest in banking and manufacturing stocks, market participants said.
The currency had closed at 174.55/65 rupees against the greenback on Friday. Markets were closed Monday for the New Year.
In equities, Colombo’s All Share index gained 6.53 points, up 0.12 percent to 5,591.83, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks was up 8.83 points, up 0.32 percent to 2,722.14.
Market turnover was 172.9 million rupees with 61 stocks gaining during the day and 35 declining.
Hatton National Bank (up 4.10 rupees to 181.10 rupees), Melstacorp (up 1.40 rupees to 38.90 rupees) and Teejay Lanka (up 1.20 rupees to 31.40 rupees) contributed to the benchmark index gain.
There was one off-market negotiated trade, or crossing, in Dialog for 89.2 million rupees, which amounted to 51 percent of market turnover.
Dialog ended 10 cents lower at 9 rupees.
Net foreign buying was 31.45 million rupees, up from the previous day’s 1.1 million rupees.
Foreign buying in John Keells Holdings was 32.3 million rupees, according to Asia Securities. The stock ended unchanged at 153 rupees.
Bond yields were seen edging higher across some maturities in the secondary market while most rates were steady.
A bond maturing in 2024 ended at 10.78/87 percent, up from 10.73/80 percent the previous day.
A bond maturing in 2026 closed at 10.90/11.00 percent, up from 10.88/97 percent the previous day.
The bond maturing in 2027 ended at 11.05/15 percent, up from 11.00/10 percent on Friday.
A bond maturing in 2029 ended at 11.15/25 percent, up from 11.13/22 percent. (COLOMBO, 16 April 2019-SB)