Sri Lanka rupee rises; stocks edge higher ahead of long weekend
COLOMBO, April 18 (Reuters) - The Sri Lankan rupee
closed 0.34 percent 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
** The island nation's currency gained 0.3 percent this week,
and 5.2 percent so far this year, as exporters converted dollars
amid stabilising investor confidence after the country repaid a
$1 billion sovereign bond in mid-January.
** Sri Lanka plunged into a political turmoil in October last
year 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 percent in 2018, and was one of the
worst-performing currencies in Asia due to heavy foreign
** Foreign investors sold a net 2 billion rupees worth of
government securities in the week ended April 10, the second
weekly fall in six weeks, the latest central bank data showed.
** The Colombo Stock Exchange index ended 0.05 percent
firmer at 5,606.35.
** The benchmark stock index gained 0.4 percent in the week.
However, it has declined 7.4 percent so far this year.
** Turnover came in at 200.3 million rupees ($1.15 million),
nearly a third of this year's daily average of 593.5 million
rupees. Last year's daily average came in at 834 million rupees.
** Foreign investors bought a net 2.8 million rupees worth of
shares on Thursday, but the market has seen a year-to-date net
foreign outflow to 6 billion rupees worth of equities.
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** For a report on major currencies, click
($1 = 173.9500 Sri Lankan rupees)
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Rashmi Aich)2019-04-18 14:34:56
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