Sri Lanka stock stocks fall 0.1-pct, rupee steady

July 24, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s stocks fell 0.1 percent Tuesday with index heavy stocks losing ground but the rupee was steady in foreign exchange brokers and dealers said. The Colombo All Share Price Index closed at 4,874.36, -7.41pts and the S&P20 Index of large cap stocks fell 0.98 percent to close at 2,769 points.

Turnover was 518 million rupees.

John Keells Holdings closed at 178.40 down 70 cents, Chevron Lubricants closed at 172, down 1.30 rupees, Ceylon Tobacco closed at 670 down 50 cents, Dialog Axiata was flat at 6.00 rupees, Distilleries Company closed at 121.60 down 40 cents.

Commercial Bank Bank rose 10 cents to close at 97 rupees, HNB closed at 140 rupees up 10 cents and the National Development Bank closed at 103.00 up on rupee.

In forex markets the spot US dollar closed at 130.80/90 rupees, a tad stronger than a day earlier.

In money markets, a market short 4.8 billion rupees of liquidity reduced to 1.6 billion rupees with the Central Bank injecting 2.0 billion rupees in the system at 9.63 percent, up from 9.58 percent a day earlier.

The total injected went down from 5.0 billion a day earlier.

Money is now injected at very close to 9.75 percent indicating that the Central Bank’s policy rate is transmitted to the market.

About half of a billion US dollar bond is due to come to Sri Lanka this week.

Analysts have urged the authorities not to convert it at once and repay bank overdrafts or other short term debt but to sell it gradually in forex markets and reduce new borrowings so that interest rates can come down and the exchange rate will be steady.