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Rupee extends recovery ahead of rate decision; stocks down Empty Rupee extends recovery ahead of rate decision; stocks down

Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:02 am
Reuters: The Sri Lankan rupee closed firmer on Monday, further recovering from a record low touched last week as banks sold dollars ahead of the central bank’s monetary policy meeting while shares fell for a third straight session to hit a four-and-a-half-year low amid foreign outflows.

On Friday, the rupee touched its all-time low of 169.40 per dollar on importer demand for the greenback and foreign selling in government securities, but intervention by the central bank helped the currency close firmer, market sources said.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is expected to raise its key interest rates on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, to prop up the rupee amid foreign outflows from government bonds and after the US Federal Reserve raised rates last week.

The rupee ended at 168.90/169.00 per dollar, compared with the previous close of 169.15/30.

The rupee weakened 4.7% in September against the dollar after a 1.2% drop in the previous month, and has declined 10.2% so far this year.

The Colombo stock index fell 0.76% to 5,817.54, its lowest close since 18 Dec 2013. The bourse fell 3.6% last month and is down 8% so far this year.

Data from the Central Bank showed foreign investors sold government securities worth a net Rs. 10.2 billion ($60.36 million) in the week ended 26 September, the highest since the week to 6 December. Sri Lanka has suffered a net outflow of Rs. 72.5 billion in securities so far this year.

Stock market turnover was Rs. 177.1 million ($1.05 million) on Monday, its lowest close since 6 September and less than a third of this year’s daily average of Rs. 784.4 million.
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