Sri Lankan rupee falls on uncertainty amid foreign outflow; stocks up

Sri Lankan rupee falls on uncertainty amid foreign outflow; stocks up

** The Sri Lankan rupee fell in dull trade on Friday as outflows from government securities and stocks due to political uncertainty raised dollar demand.

** Stocks snapped four straight sessions of declines, but political uncertainty continued to weigh on investor sentiment after the parliament speaker said on Monday he would not recognise President Maithripala Sirisena’s sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.

** The speaker has called the president’s sacking of the prime minister to bring a former leader back to power a non-violent coup d’etat.

** The rupee ended at 175.10/30 per dollar on Friday, compared with the previous close of 175.05/20. The rupee has weakened more than 1 percent since the political crisis began on Oct. 26.

** The rupee hit a record low of 175.65 per dollar on Nov.1.

** The rupee weakened 3.7 percent in October after a 4.7 percent drop in September against the dollar. It has dropped 14 percent this year.

** Foreigners sold a net 660.8 million worth stocks on Friday. They have offloaded equities worth 7.8 billion rupees since the political crisis started on Oct. 26. ** The bond market saw an outflow of about 21 billion rupees between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7, central bank data showed. This year, the island nation has seen 17.2 billion rupees in outflows from stocks and 110.8 billion rupees from government securities, bourse and central bank data respectively showed. ** The Colombo stock index rose 0.81 percent to 5,978.63. The bourse fell 1.9 percent this week after it gained 4.5 percent last week due to heavy retail investor participation. It has slipped 6.1 percent so far this year. ** For a report on global markets, click here and for a report on major currencies, click ** Stock market turnover was 1.3 billion rupees ($7.43 million) on Friday, more than this year’s daily average of 820.7 million rupees.

** Shares of conglomerate John Keells Holidngs Plc ended 1.8 percent firmer, Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 4.5 percent, Lanka ORIX Leasing Company Plc closed 2.5 percent firmer and Dialog Axiata Plc gained 0.9 percent.