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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » වංශකථාව » Stocks slip but policy rates remain unchanged

Stocks slip but policy rates remain unchanged

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Melissa Pereira


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Shares snapped three straight sessions of gains to end lower on Monday as investors booked profits and waited for cues from the Central Bank’s August monetary policy meeting later in the day.

The Central Bank is expected to keep its policy rates unchanged at record lows at the policy meeting, a Reuters poll showed. 

The country’s main stock index ended 0.59% lower, or down 43.58 points, at 7,306.94, not far off its lowest close since 23 July hit last Tuesday. “Investors are sceptical and the market is down on low trade,” said Reshan Kurukulasuriya, Chief Operating Officer of Richard Pieris Securities Ltd.

Foreign investors were net buyers for the first time in seven sessions on Monday, purchasing a net Rs. 29.7 million ($220,817.84) worth of shares on Monday. They have however been net sellers of Rs. 3.35 billion worth of shares so far this year.

Turnover stood at Rs. 517.8 million, its lowest since 21 July and around half this year’s daily average of Rs. 1.16 billion.

Shares in conglomerate John Keells Holdings fell 1.69% while Ceylon Tobacco Company Plc fell 1.59%, dragging down the overall index.

[size=36]
Rupee ends weaker 
[/size]
Reuters: The rupee closed lower for a second straight session on Monday as a State-run bank, through which the Central Bank usually directs the market, raised the currency’s peg against the dollar ahead of a monetary policy meeting.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is expected to keep its policy rates unchanged at record lows at its policy meeting later in the day, a Reuters poll showed. 

The State-run bank raised the rupee’s peg to the dollar by 20 cents, allowing the exchange rate to depreciate to 134.50. The rupee ended 0.15% weaker at 134.50 per dollar compared with Friday’s close of 134.30. 
“The depreciation pressure is there but the pressure eased during the latter part of the day with some inward remittances,” said a currency dealer asking not to be named.
The state-run bank raised the currency’s peg against the dollar by 15 cents on Friday, allowing the exchange rate to depreciate to 134.30.

Currency dealers expect the Central Bank to let the currency weaken due to importer dollar demand and a global trend of currencies falling against the dollar.

Analysts say the rupee may fall to 138 levels in the short term if the Central Bank allows it to depreciate further.
 
Courtesy: Daily Financial Times 1 September 2015

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