Sri Lankan ru­pee edges up; stocks down for third ses­sion

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan ru­pee ended slightly higher on Thurs­day, eas­ing from a record low hit in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion, as ex­porters dol­lar sales sur­passed im­porter de­mand for the green­back in dull trade, while stocks ended weaker for a third straight ses­sion to hit a one-week low.

The ru­pee ended at 171.20/40 per dol­lar, com­pared with the pre­vi­ous close of 171.30/50.

The ru­pee fell to an all­time low of 171.60 per dol­lar on Wed­nes­day, sur­pass­ing the pre­vi­ous low of 171.00 hit on Tues­day amid for­eign sell­ing in gov­ern­ment se­cu­ri­ties and ex­porter green­back sales, mar­ket sources said.

The cen­tral bank sur­prised fi­nan­cial mar­kets on Oct. 2 by leav­ing its key pol­icy rates un­changed, de­spite heavy pres­sure on the ru­pee and for­eign out­flows from gov­ern­ment se­cu­ri­ties.

The cen­tral bank said on Oct. 2 it pur­chased 4 mil­lion dol­lars from the mar­ket in the pre­vi­ous day, but it has sold a net 184 mil­lion dol­lars in the mar­ket so far this year to de­fend the cur­rency.

The ru­pee has weak­ened 1.24 per­cent so far this month af­ter a 4.7 per­cent drop in Septem­ber against the dol­lar. It has de­clined 11.54 per­cent so far this year, record­ing its sharpest fall since 2001.

The Colombo stock in­dex ended 0.57 per­cent down at 5,838.48, its low­est close since Oct. 4 and slip­ping fur­ther away from its high­est close since Sept. 20 hit on Mon­day.

The in­dex fell to its low­est close since Dec. 13, 2013 on Tues­day. It fell 3.6 per­cent last month and is down 8.3 per­cent so far this year.

For a re­port on global mar­kets, click here and for a re­port on ma­jor cur­ren­cies, click

Data from the cen­tral bank showed for­eign in­vestors sold gov­ern­ment se­cu­ri­ties worth a net 1.8 bil­lion ru­pees ($10.58 mil­lion) in the week ended Oct. 3. Sri Lanka has seen a net out­flow of 74.3 bil­lion ru­pees in se­cu­ri­ties so far this year.

Stock mar­ket turnover was 301.8 mil­lion ru­pees ($1.76 mil­lion) on Thurs­day, less than half of this year's daily aver­age of 766.9 mil­lion ru­pees.

For­eign in­vestors were net sell­ers of 50.2 mil­lion ru­pees worth of shares on Thurs­day ex­tend­ing the year to date net for­eign out­flow to 6.3 bil­lion ru­pees worth of eq­ui­ties.

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