Saturday, 20 April 2019 07:51

Rupee rises; stocks edge higher ahead of long weekend

Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee closed 0.34% firmer on Thursday, helped by banks’ dollar sales, while stocks ended marginally higher for the fourth straight session in thin trade ahead of a long weekend.

Many investors were on a holiday during the three-day week due to two long weekends. Both Monday and Friday in this week are public holidays.

The currency ended at 173.95/174.25 to the dollar, higher than Wednesday’s close of 174.55/65, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The island nation’s currency gained 0.3% this week, and 5.2% so far this year, as exporters converted dollars amid stabilising investor confidence after the country repaid a $1 billion sovereign bond in mid-January.

Foreign investors sold a net Rs. 2 billion worth of government securities in the week ended 10 April, the second weekly fall in six weeks, the latest Central Bank data showed.

The Colombo Stock Exchange index ended 0.05% firmer at 5,606.35. The benchmark stock index gained 0.4% in the week. However, it has declined 7.4% so far this year.

Turnover came in at Rs. 200.3 million ($1.15 million), nearly a third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 593.5 million. Last year’s daily average came in at Rs. 834 million.

Foreign investors bought a net Rs. 2.8 million worth of shares on Thursday, but the market has seen a year-to-date net foreign outflow to Rs. 6 billion worth of equities.

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