Jul 24, 2018 17:19 PM GMT+0530ECONOMYNEXT - The Sri Lanka rupee held steady against the US dollar on Tuesday, as gilt yields eased and stocks closed marginally lower on foreign buying interest in John Keells Holdings, brokers and dealers said.
The rupee closed at 159.55/60 rupees against the US dollar in the spot market on export conversions, dealers said. The US dollar closed at 159.50/60 rupees the previous day.
Gilt yields eased in the secondary market for government securities.
A five-year bond maturing in 2023 closed at 10.18/24 percent in two-way quotes, down from 10.21/29 percent the previous day.
The yield on a ten-year bond maturing in 2028 eased to 10.46/53 percent, down from 10.50/62 percent the previous day.
In equities, the Colombo All Share index closed a marginal 0.02 percent lower, down 1.04 points to 6,183.64, and the S&P SL20 of more liquid stocks closed 0.16 percent lower, down 5.43 points to 3,392.23.
Market turnover was 273.8 million rupees, up from the previous day's turnover of 238.4 million rupees.
Net foreign buying was 90.3 million rupees, compared to buying of 98 million rupees the previous day.
Foreign buying was 60 million rupees in John Keells Holdings (down 1 rupee to 146 rupees) followed by 27 million rupees in Central Finance (unchanged at 99.50 rupees).
Foreign selling in Distilleries was 23 million rupees. The stock closed 10 cents lower at 20 50 rupees.
John Keells Holdings, LOLC Finance (down 20 cents to 3.20 rupees) and Sri Lanka Telecom (down 40 cents to 24.50 rupees) weighed down the benchmark index with 50 stocks gaining during the day against 82 that declined.
Ceylon Tobacco gained 26.90 rupees to 1,159.50 rupees.
Crossings, or off-market negotiated trades, amounted to 72.24 million rupees, and was 26.4 percent of market turnover.
There was a crossing each in John Keells Holdings (26.3 million rupees), Central Finance (25.9 million rupees) and Distilleries (20 million rupees). (COLOMBO, 24 July 2018)