Home / Front Page/ Rupee ends weaker on importer dollar demand; stocks down

Rupee ends weaker on importer dollar demand; stocks down


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 10 April 2019 02:04

Facebook

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Tuesday due to importer dollar demand, but market sources said remittances ahead of the traditional New Year will help boost the currency, while stocks extended losses into a third session. 

After the markets closed on Monday, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank left its key interest rates unchanged, a widely expected move to boost an economy struggling in the wake of a political crisis. Markets shrugged off the Central Bank’s decision, sources said. 

The Colombo Stock Exchange index fell for a third straight session on Tuesday to end 0.21% weaker at 5,583.66. The benchmark stock index rose 1.2% last week, recording its second consecutive weekly gain in nine. 

The index has declined 7.7% so far this year. The currency ended at 174.75/85 to the dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 174.60/70. 

The island nation’s currency gained 0.26% last week, and 4.5% so far this year, as exporters converted dollars and foreign investors purchased government securities amid stabilising investor confidence after the country repaid a $1 billion sovereign bond in mid-January.

Dealers expect the pressure on the rupee to ease with more inward remittances ahead of the Sinhala-Hindu New Year on April 14. Sri Lanka was plunged into political turmoil in October when President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly removed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and then dissolved Parliament. A court later ruled the move was unconstitutional, and Wickremesinghe was reinstalled as Premier. 

Investor sentiment took a big hit as a result of the 51-day political crisis, leading to credit rating downgrades and an outflow of foreign funds from government securities. 

The rupee dropped 16% in 2018, and was one of the worst-performing currencies in Asia due to heavy foreign outflows. Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 1.9 billion worth of government securities in the week ended 3 April, the first weekly fall in five weeks, but foreign investors were net buyers of Rs. 1.6 billion so far this year, the latest Central Bank data showed. 

Turnover came in at Rs. 187.6 million ($1.07 million), less than a third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 626.4 million. Last year’s daily average came in at Rs. 834 million. 

Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 93.5 million worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs. 5.9 billion worth of equities. 

The latest Budget aims to increase government spending by 13% in 2019, during which the Presidential Election must be held, while it has set an ambitious goal to reduce a large fiscal deficit.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Will power cuts solve electricity crisis?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The country faced electricity power cuts, reminding citizens of early 1990s, which resulted in private power producers supplying electrical power with long-term power supply agreements. Today, most have completed their agreement period, but some were


Easter attack: Going beyond condemnation

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Yesterday was Easter Sunday; 227 persons [at the time of writing] have been killed, and many times more injured. The primary targets were churches and international hotels. It seems clear that the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria


Easter Sunday nightmare

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

This is the most important day of the year for Christians – the Peaceful Easter Sunday or Easter Day was shattered by deadly explosions in several Christian churches throughout the country; and we excoriate such hatred in our beloved country. We th


Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre


Columnists More