Bourse recovers from over 8-month low in thin trade

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: The Sri Lankan share index recovered on Tuesday from its lowest close in more than eight months hit in the previous session led by blue chips and large-cap stocks, despite foreign investors staying away ahead of an interest rate decision by the US Federal Reserve later this week.

The main stock index ended 0.26 per cent firmer at 6,820.77, recovering from Monday’s more-than-eight-month closing low.a

“It is a typical year-end market. Most of the investors are on leave,” a stockbroker said.

Turnover stood at Rs. 571.3 million ($3.98 million), around half of this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.1 billion.

Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 104.6 million worth of shares on Tuesday, extending the year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs. 4.04 billion worth of equities.

Stocks rose in Europe and Asia on Tuesday, though volatile oil prices kept investors cautious before a widely anticipated increase in US interest rates later in the week.

Market is expected to be lacklustre due to year-end holidays from next week due to Christmas and the turnover is expected to be low.

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 1.15 per cent up, while development lender DFCC Bank closed 1.93 per cent higher.


Rupee falls to record low on importer dollar demand

Reuters:  The Sri Lankan rupee ended at an all-time low on Tuesday for a third straight session on a thin dollar buying by importers as seasonal imports ahead of Christmas weighed on the local currency, dealers said.

Trading was dull due to a banking sector protest after trade unions went ahead with a strike saying their demand to alter some budget proposals were not met.

The rupee fell 0.14 %  to 143.80 per dollar, extending its decline from the previous record trough of 143.65 hit on Monday.

The currency finished at 143.70/80 per dollar, compared with Monday’s close of 143.60/80.

“We believe the rupee could recover to the 143 level towards the end of next week once the importer demand is over,” said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity.

The rupee has fallen 8.8 % so far this year. It has slipped 6.3 % since the Central Bank floated the local currency on 4 September. Dealers, however, say the Central Bank has been intervening in the forex market via moral suasion and dollar selling.

The Central Bank sold dollars worth a net $1.1 billion in the three months ending 30 November, latest data showed. Dealers said part of that money was spent to defend the rupee.

Commercial banks parked 77.04 billion rupees of surplus liquidity on Tuesday using the Central Bank’s deposit facility at 6 %, they borrowed Rs. 1.4 billion from the Central Bank using the lending facility, official data showed.